Part-time renowned artist, full-time 13-year-old

Union Gallery

Kingston native Evan Sharma’s art career is taking off

Evan Sharma working his masterpieces.
Credit: 
Supplied by Brian McGirr

Evan Sharma has loved art his whole 13-year-old life, but he really started his signature style of using vibrant colours when he was “around nine or 10.”

After being inspired by seeing the Mona Lisa on a trip to Paris when he was 10, Sharma was struck by the large impact a single painting could have on him. 

“I thought, ‘Why don’t I give [painting] a go and see what it’s like.’”

Until he could convince his parents to invest in canvases, Sharma’s first paintings were on cardboard boxes. 

Ranging in his inspiration from Matisse to Andy Warhol, Sharma’s subjects are just as diverse, “I paint a lot of musical icons like John Lennon and David Bowie,” the young artist said. 

For inspiration, Sharma recalls his vivid memories of childhood visits to the East Coast. “I definitely take a lot of energy from the mountains into my paintings,” he said describing the Maritime landscape. 

“I definitely use a lot of vibrant colours to express, number one, the lighting, but also the emotion.” Sharma’s finished works are reminiscent of Basquiat’s vivid, colourful Impressionist paintings, energetic and bold.  

He prefers to use acrylic paints, as he loves to work with layers, a process which would be drawn out if he were working with oil paints due to the extended drying time. “I also use a lot of paper, in the background, as well as vinyl for the music ones,” he said. 

Last year, Sharma was selected to be an artist at the Art Project Contemporary Art Fair in Toronto. As the youngest artist to be featured — previously the youngest was 17 — he garnered some serious national media attention, appearing on both Canada AM, and in several documentaries. With a rise in popularity — some labelling him as the next Picasso — Sharma’s paintings have been acquired by collectors as far as Los Angeles  and New York. 

To date, Sharma has completed around 30 paintings, most of which he’s sold. “I keep the ones I love, and hang them up on the wall,” Sharma said of his growing collection. 

Even with the growing success, Sharma doesn’t know if he wants to be an artist by trade when he grows up, “I think I want to become a doctor, but I would definitely keep art as a hobby,” Sharma said. The newly-teenaged Sharma is also interested in biology and environmental science. 

When he’s not at school or painting, you can find Sharma shredding on the ski slopes, fishing, playing volleyball and enjoying the outdoors. Currently, he’s doubling his time as an artist with his science fair project, where he’s trying to save the world from methane emissions. 

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