Born in July 1929, in Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, the self-taught Badri Narayan has been painting for over 45 years. During this time, he has been a teacher and an artist, but always, an introspective individual. This self-reflection and autobiographical perspective is the most constant theme in Narayan's work.
His paintings are narrative, and titles like "Queen Khemsa's Dream of Hamsa" and "Meeting at Midstream", are the starting point from where one must unravel the complexities presented by the paintings, in order to interpret and understand them. Symbolism is a recurring feature of his works, though sometimes, he also uses popular icons of Indian culture like the 'Ganesha'. He says: "I have picked up the imagery that surrounds me, the one I am born into, and it comes naturally." He draws heavily from Indian mythology and metaphors and acknowledges the influence of the Indian miniature tradition. Narayan believes that painting is two-dimensional and prefers to work on a smaller format; one that he finds practical and well suited for the watercolours that have been his preferred medium for several years. He has also done etchings, woodcuts and ceramics.
Badri Narayan's work has been featured in prestigious exhibitions such as the Asian Artists Exhibition, Tokyo (1957), Art Now in India, New Castle, England and Ghent, Belgium (1966), India Art Today, in Darmstadt, West Germany (1982). His solo shows have been held in India, Germany and the USA. He has also represented India in the Biennales of Paris (1961), the Biennale of Prints, Tokyo, (1966-67). In 1965, he won the Award of the Lalit Kala Akademi for his painting, 'The Family'. Badri Narayan lives and works in Mumbai.