SOMA MASCHE - Biography

Jivya Soma Mashe (1934-2018) was an artist of the Maharashtra state in India, who popularised the Warli tribal art form.

Mashe was born in Dhamangaon village in Talasari taluka of Thane district of Maharashtra. At the age of 11, he came to Kalambipada village in Dahanu taluka of Thane district. In the 1970s the Warli Painting, which was a predominantly ritual art till that time, took a radical turn, when Jivya Mashe started to paint not for any special ritual, but on an everyday basis.

His talent was soon noticed, first nationally (it was rewarded straight from the hand of India's senior political figures, such as Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi) then internationally (Magiciens de la terre, Centre Pompidou), bringing unprecedented recognition, which prompted many other young men to follow suit. They started to paint regularly for commercial purposes.