Bhibakar, who was born in Bihar’s Jitwapur village, stepped into the world of Madhubani through an age-old tradition when he was barely 12. As per the traditional folklore and culture heritage of Bihar’s Mithila, every mother passes on the teachings of Madhubani to her children. Bhibakar has a peculiar style of painting that ranges from small sheets to canvases as big as 10 feet. Despite modern techniques, he chooses to paint with twigs, matchsticks, nib-pens, and fingers. He is the grandson of one of the pioneering talented artists who was also a Padma award winner hand-picked by the team of PM Indra Gandhi to transfer her mud paintings on to paper.
No amount of paintbrushes or colours can ever match the traditional style. Only natural dyes were used, like black came from charcoal, yellow from turmeric, white from rice, blue from indigo, saffron from marigold, an approach which maintains the authenticity,” he adds.
Most of Bhibhakar’s paintings circulate mythological narratives of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, Gods like Krishna, Kali, Durga, and animals and nature. However, his all-time favorite paintings are those where he depicts Sita’s perspective.
When asked which his favorite painting is, he refuses to pick one, “How can I choose between my babies? All my paintings are amalgamations of customs, history, and love. Madhubani is my identity, so choosing one would be unfair.”