PRLog - March 18, 2012 - PILANI, India -- Born on 06 March 1945 at Pilani located in the heart of the Shekhawati Region of Rajasthan, Matu Ram’s father and grand father were also both sculptors. He had a struggling childhood and had his education at Arjun School in Pilani which was under the patronage of the Birla Education Trust in those days. He fondly recollects one of his teachers for slapping him when he had drawn a beautiful picture on his slate with advice not to waste time like that. But later, the same teacher appreciating the talent of Matu Ram took him for a drawing contest where he came first with flying colours.
Artist Matu Ram Verma - Siddheswar Mahadev Pilani
Anyone crossing the porch to enter the auditorium of BITS Pilani could not have missed the captivating paintings done by the famous artist Shri Bhoor Singh Shekhawat who was art teacher at the then known as Birla High School and now known as Birla School. In his early days, Matu Ram was fortunate to be an understudy of this famous artist. After finishing a B.A. degree with Finance specialization from Rajasthan University, Shri Matu Ram Verma got a job as teacher at Bal Niketan School Pilani at the behest of Shri SD Pande known as Kulpathi in the educational circles of Pilani.
Shri L N Birla who is a connoisseur of arts appreciating the potential in Matu Ram Verma gave him the challenging task of developing Panchwati, a theme park in Pilani based on the epic Ramayan and today it stands as one of the most visited places in this desert town. Matu Ramji did a whole set of fascinating murals for the Pilani Birla Museum which is one of the best and the finest among science museums in India established in 1954 by Shri L N Birla and the CSIR laboratory CEERI Pilani.
The tryst with towering statues of God started with the 21 ft Lord Hanuman at Panchwati in Pilani and won the appreciation of Sri BK Birla and his wife Smt Sarala Birla who blessed him for establishing Maturam Art Cenre – MAC. Today MAC is known globally not only for towering concrete statues but also metal statues, wax models, home decor as well as wood / metal antique items.
With the commissioning of the 85 ft tall Lord Shiva “Mangal Mahadev” at New Delhi adjacent to the airport, the name and fame of Shri Matu Ram went across the length and breadth of the country as well as abroad. From 1990 to 2012, Matu Ramji says proudly that he had worked on 30 such towering statues. Notable among them are the Lord Shiva at NOIDA done at the behest of “T Series” Shri Gulshan Kumar; 100 ft Hanuman at Chattarpur Delhi; Lord Shiva at Bissau (Rajasthan), Baroda, Nepal and Mauritius; Lord Ganesh at Talegaon near Pune; Lord Buddha at Sikkim.
At the behest of Shri S K Birla in the year 2009, Matu Ramji took up the 80 ft tall Lord Shiva Statue “Siddheshwar Mahadev” project at Pilani as a Mission with Passion for which he proudly says that he did not charge a single paisa. The entire structure including pedestal and foundation is a whopping 2000 tons made of cement, RCC deploying epoxy painted steel. The structural design was done by Matu Ramji himself involving a hollow structure, 2 columns of diameter 600 mm each, cross beams and tie beams and finishing with Portland cement followed by zinc metal coat and then a coat with copper powder soaked in lacquer.
There was special provision for a water pipe through the structure to spray water from top for the Akash Ganga effect and an aviation red light in the Trishul glittering like a ruby in the night sky of Pilani. On November 13, 2011 in a colorful function attended by several who is who in the Birla family, the final look of the statue was revealed to the public at large in Pilani.
Matu Ramji takes pleasure in training local talents and proudly says one such whom he had trained Mr VP Gupta is presently a Professor at M.S. University Baroda. At Pilani, the Bhagat Singh statue which is a prominent landmark which everyone invariably crosses to enter Pilani, the imposing look of the Goshala and Bhoothnath crematorium at Pilani were all the social missions undertaken by Shri Matu Ramji in his journey so far. The impressive statue of the doyen of the Birla Family Shri G D Birla in the park opposite to the Goenka School at Pilani is also the work of none other than Shri Matu Ram Verma. The fact that he is an expert in calligraphy is a little known fact to the public at large.
The Matu Ram Art Centre – MAC is presently spearheaded by his younger son Shri Naresh Kumar who is himself a name to reckon with for several tall statues which include the 108 ft tall Hanuman statue at Jakhu temple towering among the mountains of Shimla staking claim for entry in Guinness Book of Records. While his elder son Sushil Kumar Verma does charted engineering work in Rajasthan, his daughter Anita who is a graduate is married and settled at Delhi. Shri Matu Ram’s younger brother Shri S N Verma who is also an artist, had been the curator at CEERI Pilani museum. Shri Matu Ram does not mince words in profusely thanking his wife Smt Darshana who has been a source of constant support and inspiration all through his journey.
The current projects undertaken by him include 108 ft tall Goddess Durga at Mauritius, 108 ft tall Lord Hanuman in sitting posture at Faridabad and 60 ft tall Maharana Pratap at Udaipur. Shri Matu Ram had a twinkle in his eyes when he hinted about his likely involvement in a 500 ft tall statue of one of the towering leaders of India which is presently at discussion stage and politely declined to disclose further details.
His philosophy is that one should not live life just for achieving materialistic pleasure and that pursuing art is more for soul satisfaction than pocket filling. He smiles and says that artist must be spiritual; else such divine duty of making tall structures of gods just can not be achieved. He is recipient of the coveted Rajasthan State artist award in 1988 and the Rajasthan Shiromani award in 1991.
The Journey continues for Shri Matu Ram Verma for making towering statues which is indeed a Mission with Passion for him.
Matu Ram Art Centre - MAC has an Office at K-16/11, DLF Phase-II, Gurgaon, Haryana - 122001, India Phone +91-124-2351641 Mob: +91-9811006791. Their Studio is at Loharu Road, Pilani, Rajasthan - 333031 Mob: +91-9414403190 Ph: +91-1596-245218 / 242752. Their Foundry is located Opposite 'H' Block, Behind Tall Shivaji Statue, Chouma Village, Palam Vihar, Gurgaon - 122001 Tel: + 91-124-4362378 Mob: + 91-9811514459
For MAC details Email firstname.lastname@example.org and see http://templesmac.com
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Maturam Art Cenre – MAC is known globally not only for towering concrete statues but also metal statues, wax models, home decor as well as wood / metal antique items. For MAC details Email email@example.com and see http://templesmac.com