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"Every Child is an Artist. The Problem is How to Remain an Artist once we Grow up"-Pablo Picasso.


Babu Xavier

1960 Kerala


Self-taught Artist


2009 Tarot Card Series, Chamber of Art Gallery, Calangute, Goa
2008 Organic Dreams, presented by Triveda Art Gallery, Chennai at Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi
2006 Crimson Rhapsody Art Musings, Mumbai
2005 Kashi Art Gallery, Fort Cochin, Kerala
2003, 2004 Hacienda Bombay Gallery
2002 Kashi Art Cafe, Kochi
2002, 1999, 1991, 1985 Pundole Gallery, Mumbai
2001, 1999, 1998 Kashi Art Cafe, Kochi
1999 Apparao Gallery, Chennai
1998 Holstebro Bibliotec, Denmark
1997 Renaissance Gallery, Bangalore
1997 University of Lunenburg, Germany
1997 Cultural Forum, Lunenburg, Germany
1997 Ganesha Gallery, New Delhi
1995 Chithram Gallery, Kochi
1994 Varia Gallery, Basel, Switzerland
1994 Chithram Gallery, Kochi
1994 Varia Gallery, Basel, Switzerland
1991 Sakshi Gallery, Chennai
1991 Kalayatra, Bengaluru
1991 Zenit, Copenhagen, Denmark
1991 Gammelgaard Art Center, Denmark
1984 Kalapeedom, Cochin


2011 Melange, Harrington Street Arts Centre, Kolkata
2010 Black is Beautiful, Indian Fine Arts, Mumbai
2009 Sacred and Secular, Fine Arts of India, Mumbai
2009 Entity, in association with the Asian Academy of Film and Television at MEC Art Gallery, New Delhi
2008 Deeper than Skin, DAIRA Center for Arts and Culture, Hyderabad
1999 Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai


2009 Entity, Annual Exhibitions
2011 presented by Artchutney at The Taj Corridor, The Taj West End, Bangalore Edition, MEC Art Gallery, New Delhi
Annual Exhibition 2008, Triva Contemporary, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
2005 Triennial International Exhibition, New Delhi
1994, 88th Bharat Bhavan Biennale, Bhopal
1985 Sixth International Triennial, New Delhi


1990 20th Annual Kerala Lalit Kala Academy Exhibition



Babu Xavier, based in Trivandrum, Kerala, is an artist whose canvases come alive with vivid colors and fantastical creatures. His brushes paint pure reds, vibrant yellows, and bright blues and greens, creating almost human figures with some sexual nuances in watercolors that seem to radiate light almost like a prism.


Babu, who was born in 1960, never thought that he would become an artist. In his school and university days, he claimed that he could not even make a respectable drawing in any of his scientific journals. It was only when he was in college and one day he was sitting doodling on a newspaper in the library that Babu Xavier realized that he could and wanted to paint. Still, Xavier decided that art school was not the place for him. He didn't want to be restricted by rules and years of learning things he wouldn't want to use anyway. He believed that his inspirations and methods would be affected and restricted by formal fine arts education. It was only by chance that Babu came across the famous artist Jayapal Panicker, also originally from Kerala. Panicker left such a lasting impression on Xavier that he withdrew from the university in his final year to join him at the Cholamandal Art Colony in Madras and work under him for a time.


When he returned from there, Xavier was making a living in Kerala by selling small photographic-sized canvases. His big break came when a vacationing bank manager bought some of his work and took it to Mumbai. There, eminent cartoonist Mario Miranda saw the paintings and contacted the artist telling him to come to Mumbai. Soon Xavier was showing his work at the Pundole Art Gallery and the response left him quite amazed. The criticism that his work received and the number of them sold encouraged him to continue painting and exhibiting. The gallery owners did not hesitate to promise financial support to this artist, who soon became one of the best-known contemporary artists in India. With 19 solo exhibitions in India and across Europe, and having received several prestigious awards, Xavier is the most modest individual anyone could imagine. He spends all day with his family, none of whom are artists, and paints only at night.


But when it comes to his work, he is pretty firm in his intentions. I don't make art to decorate houses and match people's walls. There are many contradictions in my paintings, which can be very disturbing. If I talk about sexuality, there is also death on the same canvas. Not everyone will like or understand my artwork, that's not the case. In his current work, we see, as the artist intends, a deeper meaning. The fantastic figures represent the powerful and lucid ideas that Xavier has. Walking away from his paintings, one looks at the signature and notices a small set of penciled lines next to it, a barcode. I draw barcodes on all my paintings. It reflects contemporary life and shows consumerist trends in 2002 when markets dominated our lives.


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