Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Meet Dhanraj, a 26-year-old artist with his 24k pure gold paintings

Dhanraj has proven to be one of the largest employers of artists in the country

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Published: Oct 5, 2020 01:59:06 PM IST

Meet Dhanraj, a 26-year-old artist with his 24k pure gold paintings
Several Indian artistes have earned a name for themselves in the country and globally because of their skills. But award-winning artist Dhanraj Shelke has many facets that separate him from the rest. A master of 24k pure gold plating and 18k pure gold coated portraits, this uniqueness is his signature and copyrighted style. “I love making art using exotic materials like 24k pure gold plating, crystals, metals, gems and diamonds, etc.,” says Dhanraj. 

Having sold over 15,000 art pieces across the globe, his prominent clients include Bollywood actors like Salman Khan, Madhuri Dixit Nene and Mahesh Manjrekar, among others, while his corporate client list comprises the likes of BMW, Mercedes Benz, Harley Davidson and hotels like Hotel Grand Hyatt, etc. 

During these tough times, when the entire country is negatively impacted because of the pandemic and several people have lost their jobs, Dhanraj has proven to be one of the largest employers of artists in the country, giving jobs to over 80 artists during these times. A lover of art, Dhanraj considers his profession a mission and his greatest passion. “My aim is to not only make money, but also make art available for every person, irrespective of the size of their house or the size of their pocket. I belive art is for everyone, and not only the rich,” he says. 

Though he is just 26, Dhanraj owns one of the largest art galleries in the country, one that’s  spread across 20,000 sqft. Other than a USP in making 24k and 18k pure gold plated paintings, Dhanraj and his team of artists specialise in hyperalistic paintings, sculptures, 3d printing, graphics, large installations and more. 

Looking back at his educational journey, it seems topping the charts and standing out was always a constant for Dhanraj. He was a university topper when he pursued an MBA in finance and HR, but he always had a keen interest in art. Unfortunately, he never made it to an art institute, because he lacked basic education in art or experience. “I made requests at five art institutions for enrolment, but got rejected. But that didn’t discourage me. I tried my best and learnt from a national award-winning artist Mohanrav ganpatrao wadangekar from Maharashtra and seeing my dedication and innovative approach, he decided to guide me for free. But I am a self-taught artist, who started his journey from a small basement room and sometimes kitchen. Today, I proudly have one of India’s biggest art teams and art studios,” says Dhanraj. 

When he started out professionally, the young artists wanted to take an offbeat approach, rather than a traditional one. He says, “I studied art and the market for many years, and instead of taking a traditional approach of selling art, I created my own blueprint of selling my artwork online.” Today, Dhanraj sells his art from various online platforms like Etsy, Google, Fine Art America, his own website, social media, online collaborations and more. “My aim is to make art and the art market education avaliable for free and teach them how and when and where you can sell after your education is over. I have sold more than 15,000 artwork without any capital and from within the comfort of my house,” he adds. 

Dhanraj’s work doesn’t only come with beauty, innovation and finesse, but also a long-lasting promise. He says that his work is budget friendly and they provide a minimum guarantee of 50 years on every artwork with certifications, free replacement, videos of the making process, photoshoot, insurance, free delivery and more. “With such professional approach, my work is more trusted and appeals to all clients,” he signs off.

Disclaimer: The views, suggestions and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No Forbes India journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.