Poet-painter Gulam Rasool Santosh, who comes from the beautiful Kashmir valley, was born in 1929, in a middle class family. He completed his matriculation in 1945, with painting as a subject but was forced to give up the thought of further studies because of his father’s death. Santosh took up several odd jobs to support himself. Slowly, he began concentrating on commercial art and became a skilful papier-mache artist. In 1954, he won the government scholarship to study Fine Arts under the tutelage of artist N S Bendre at the MS University, Baroda.
In his early years, Santosh was greatly influenced by geometric shapes and the mysticism of the Kashmir valley. Although Santosh began by painting landscapes, he was gradually influenced by Cubism and switched over to creating Cubist landscapes, a theme for which he is very popular now. The artist’s contribution to Tantric art spearheads the movement in the art world. In a series of seventeen paintings he did in the 1970s, Santosh portrays the chronic, indefinable solitude and loneliness that plagues the modern man.
Since 1953, Santosh has held over thirty one-man shows. In 1973, he received the Lalit Kala Akademi award and the Padma Shri in 1977.