Born in 1966 in Kerala, Varghese holds a National Diploma in Fine Arts from the RLV College of Fine Arts, Kochi. Varghese forayed into the art world by working at the Madhavan Nair Foundation India in Kochi, and then at the Cholamandalam Artists’ Village in Chennai. Varghese has also worked as an artist-in-residence at the Kanoria Art Centre in Ahmedabad, Apparao Galleries in New Delhi, and the Banff Centre for Arts in Canada. Varghese’s experience in the film industry and as a poster artist informs his approach to painting.
Varghese is known for his photorealist paintings which borrow from a multitude of sources. His technique is informed by photography, cinema and digital media, while the subject matter largely focuses on women and children against busy, colourful backdrops. In an interview with The Hindu in November 2017, Varghese said, “When I am painting a canvas, I am completely involved and that is what impresses me and keeps me coming back to it. From the moment I begin choosing the visuals, to creating the composition and then painting them from the referenced photograph on to the canvas, I am involved in literally ‘making’ the work. I introduce changes, both subtle and noticeable, to the figures and the composition, hence making it my own.”
Varghese has participated in both local shows in India, and in international shows in Canada, USA, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Thailand, London, South Africa, Denmark, Italy and Bangladesh. In 1996, Varghese was named the ‘Artist of the Month’ by the Max Mueller Bhavan and Arnawaz Vasudev Trust in Chennai. He is the recipient of the Kerala State Award and the National Academy Award. His work is in private and public collections in India, including Apollo Hospital and the National Gallery of Modern Art in New Delhi.
The artist lives and works in Ghaziabad.