Manish Om Prakash was born in the city of Amritsar in India’s Punjab province. His education includes a Baccalaureate in Biological Sciences, a Masters in Life Sciences (India), and a Masters in Neurobiology (Canada). His desire to understand the dynamics of the human form, and interest in anatomy is not only pivotal to his educational background, but also plays an important role in his figurative art works.
In his teens, Manish entered and won first place in a Regional art contest in India. Through this, he met a well-known national artist, Promilla Luthra-Shaw, who took him on as a student and made him her protégé. Until that time, with the exception of helpful advice and input from family, he essentially had taught himself drawing and painting through careful observation and trial and error, and through studying works by Renaissance artists (Michelangelo, Carraviagio, Botticelli), Dutch painters (Vermeer, Rembrandt van Rijn) and contemporary artists (William Adolphe Bougereau, Salvador Dali, Gustav Klimt). Luthra-Shaw’s backing over the next few years provided invaluable technical guidance and moral support.
In 1984, with Luthra-Shaw’s encouragement, Manish held his first solo exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi in New Delhi. The exhibition was favourably reviewed by several well-respected critics. This successful debut was followed by another solo exhibition at the Lalit Kala Akademi in Chandigarh in 1985 and several regional and national juried art shows.
Manish immigrated to Canada in 1988 to pursue further graduate studies at the University of Victoria. Caught up in the demands of his degree work, he did not return to painting until March 1996, with his first Canadian exhibition, “Of Myths and Passions”, at Victoria’s Winchester Galleries.
In 1997, his second show, “studies” was held at the Winchester Galleries. He was also invited to show his works in the “Naked Truth” Exhibition, curated by Linda McNair at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. In 1998, he submitted works for the annual Royal Academy of Art’s Summer Exhibition, London (UK) and the drawing titled ‘Towards’ was selected.