A painting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a railway station by Odisha-born Bijay Biswaal was sold for Rs 5 lakh during a two-day physical auction of memorable gifts presented to the PM nationally and internationally at the National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi.
“I became happiest when I got the news that this painting got the highest bidding of Rs 5 lakh. I am feeling on the top of the world. It’s a great news for me as an artist who left a secure government job to pursue art as a profession.,” said the self-taught artist.
Bijay Biswaal, who was posted in Nagpur as the chief ticket inspector for the Indian Railways for more than two decades, took voluntary retirement in March 2017 to pursue his passion full time after gaining mass critique and appreciation for his work.
Notably, Biswaal hails from Pallahara in Angul district in Odisha but now settled in Nagpur, which gave him fame and discovered an artist in him. His “wet platform paintings” are hugely popular and acclaimed nationally and internationally.
The last day of the physical auction was on Monday, during which 270 of the 1,900 items were sold, while e-auction of the remaining gifts will begin on the portal www.pmmementos.gov.in Tuesday and will continue till January 31, Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma said.
After the e-auction ends, the total amount raised will be used for ‘Namami Gange’, a Central government project to clean the Ganga river.