Figurative art oil painting
Pavel Sokov, "Sadhu at the Holy Manikarnika Burning Ghat in Varanasi," oil on linen, 30 x 20 in. Read about this oil painting here.

Sadhu at the Holy Manikarnika Burning Ghat in Varanasi
Oil on Linen
One-of-a-kind frame made by master Rett Ashby
30 x 20 in. (painting size)
Available Through Artist

This painting was the winner of the Outstanding Composition and Technique Award of Excellence from Oil Painters of America. Up for an award with the Portrait Society of America (awards postponed to 2021). Up for an award with the National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society’s Best of America 2020 competition. Currently on display at Cutter & Cutter Fine Art for the Best of America show.

A Sadhu seen at the holy Manikarnika Burning Ghat in Varanasi where bodies are cremated at all hours of day and night. In Hinduism, death is considered as a gateway to another life marked by the results of one’s karma. It is believed that a dead human’s soul attains moksha, and hence breaks the cycle of rebirth when cremated here. Thus, scores of the elderly across the whole country seek to walk up to its edges and spend their last days absorbing the charisma of the ghat, making death painless and insignificant to be pondered upon.

I am fascinated by the narratives, textures, traditions and people I encounter throughout my many world travels, which birthed my series “Stories of the World.” This series includes scenes of the most interesting encounters of India, Morocco, Vietnam, Korea, Italy and Spain. I would say that my absolute favorite endeavour in art is capturing the various traditional cultures of the world and the experiences I have there. I can’t get enough, and can’t wait to experience more cultures in future expeditions. As for my other projects, I am well respected for my portrait commissions that I do for members of royal families and entrepreneurs, as well as a new series called “Gravitas.” Gravitas celebrates the heroes of science through portraiture. So far, six scientific heroes have already been represented; Albert Einstein, Marie-Curie, Charles Darwin, and George Washington Carver.

I invite you to see what else I have cooking up over at my website or Instagram. You may also email me at [email protected].

If you are curious about the process of commissioned portrait painting, you can find out more here: