Born in 1989, Ritesh is already well on the road to becoming a significant artist in the painting circles of paubha. From a very early age Ritesh recalls being fascinated by the temple art in the Kathmandu Valley; he has retained a great passion for the art and culture of his home city ever since. In those early formative years, he would observe the temples and their art and then come home to draw the images seen.
After leaving school in 2005, he immediately began to embark on learning the art of paubha painting, although he has not been through formal education in the Fine Arts. Ritesh studied in Dallu under the experienced guidance of teacher Ram Prakash Shrestha; over four years he learnt his craft and is continuously developing his skills. Today he has his own studio, but he also works sometimes with Ram Prakash Shrestha. Like most paubha artists, he keeps very much to the traditions of the craft but he also likes to spread his more contemporary aspirations to paintings that illustrate his blossoming talents. He stresses the need to keep to traditional themes of paubha when working on most of his paintings, which take many patient hours to complete and finalise. Ritesh is attracted to his particular profession, as it offers the prospect of constantly learning and experiencing new themes and aspects of his art.
He also sees the benefit of being able to produce paintings that diverge from cultural norms, as this is a way to develop other strands of his art. This may be in the Fusion Style, but to find satisfaction and inspiration he is happy to work on completely different artistic themes. In fact he has produced some striking portrait images and uses other mediums other than colour for some paintings. Art is as much his hobby as it is his livelihood.
It is not always appreciated that making a living from art is a tenuous and at times difficult way of life. Fortunately interest in art is increasing in the country and particularly in the Kathmandu Valley, so the future for younger talents is bright.
He normally sells his art through local galleries and from word of mouth. Ritesh has also generously produced some Fusion Style works for charity – for the Kanti Children’s Hospital oncology department. Some of his major paintings can be viewed on the Museum of Nepali Art (MoNA) website and no one will be surprised by his contemporary take on a long-established art form.