ARTIST - SCULPTUR - PAINTER
Sukhdev was born in a small village in Punjab, India. His Father, being a physician, wanted his son to follow in his footsteps, but Sukhdev had no stomach for blood and sharp objects, so he turned to soft brushes and art.
His childhood seemed idyllic, being surrounded by nature where streams were full of fish and fields of tall grass, hiding foxes and other wild life. That’s where his lifelong love of creation and nature was born.
Sukhdev graduated from the Delhi College of Art in 1962, under the teaching of the renowned artists Dhanrat Bhagat and Sailor Mookherjee. He traveled from Kashmir to Kaniakumari in order to soak in the native art of India,
and covered the four corners of the world from Tokyo to Paris and from Canada to Chile, in order to see the art of the world.
He was as fascinated with sculpture and paintings, and in 1964 made his first larger than life-size sculpted piece “The Archer”, which graces the grounds of the Teacher’s College in Phagwara, where he lectured for a period of two years.
He then left the security of his job and homeland, for an adventurous trek to Europe via the Orient Express, and even on foot across a large part of the Persian Desert when a friend’s car ran out of gas.
Reaching the center of Europe Sukhdev found a commercial job at a studio and simultaneously studied art at the Royal Academy Palace de Beaux Arts in Brussels.
In 1966 after two years under the auspices of the Flemish professor De Vlaminck, Sukhdev held his first solo exhibition at the Gallery Romain Louise in Brussels.
A job offer from Canada took him into the studio of Ralph Bakshi to work as an animator. Sukhdev met his late wife of 48 years, Croatian-born Marija, who was in the arts and cinema, in a studio in Canada. “It was love at first sight”, he said.
Sukhdev possessed both speed and knowledge of anatomy, plus a superior artistic sense of style, which led to him to be invited by Biji Hanna to the Hanna-Barbera Hollywood studio in California, where he continued to grow to finally become a Director of Animation. He also directed at other major studios like MGM and Universal.
Sukhdev continued working on his own art and participated in many group shows and local museums, as well as having a solo exhibition at the well-respected Ankrum Gallery. In 1985 he was invited by Dr. M.S. Randhava, the Art Historian and the President of All India Fine Arts Society, to hold a retrospective exhibition at the Chandigarh Museum.
In 2015 he finished a monumental piece in his home town of Laguna Beach, California titled “Sea Breeze”, overlooking Main Beach. His late wife Marija was the inspiration. Sukhdev said “when Marija saw the Taj Mahal, she lifted her scarf over her head, in awe. Seabreeze represents a mythical spirit who emerges from the sea, happy and graceful.”
Currently Sukhdev is dedicating all his time to sculpture and painting in Laguna Beach, California.