DESMOND LAZARO completed his Masters at the Prince’s School before being apprenticed in India to Master Bannu Ved Pal Sharma, whose family have practiced the craft of painting in the Pichhvais tradition for more than seven generations.
His PhD thesis, Methods, Materials and Symbolism in the Pichhvais Painting Tradition of Rajasthan, was published in 2005. One of his research aims was to gain insights into how a traditional craft becomes an expression of the sacred; another was to contribute his findings to the maintenance and renewal of the venerable tradition of Pichhvais painting. To some extent he has achieved this by founding, in 2006, The Traditional Arts Trust, India, which supports families in Rajasthan who continue to produce new Pichhvai paintings in the traditional manner, against overwhelming odds.
Desmond has exhibited in Dubai, Germany, Hong Kong, India and the UK. As someone whose work and personal history spans East and West, it is fitting that his most ambitious work to date is an 80’ x 50’ artwork at the new Mumbai airport representing the gods and goddesses of South India, using traditional woodcarving and reimagining the Tagore painting tradition.