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Sacha Jafri England 1977-

Updated: Apr 5, 2021

Sacha Jafri is a British born artist whose father is originally from India and his mother from France. His phenomenally meteoric rise in the art world is unprecedented. Sacha Jafri’s career began as a teenager when he attended Eton College on a cricket scholarship and struggled with dyslexia. “I didn’t really know how to communicate with people, and then painting changed my life,” he says. “I had found my voice and my language.” He continued his education at Oxford University and the Royal Academy. Jafri was awarded the 2000 British Painters Prize, marking the beginning of his rise to International prominence. He has rebelled against the “money machine” of the traditional art world, bypassing dealers and galleries and selling directly to hand-picked patrons from his home in Dubai. I have rejected requests from arrogant money-men who don’t really understand humanity or humility or the sense of the soul.” Jafri's cultural references are diverse, but his intention is very singular. “My paintings are about universal consciousness, the idea that we’re all connected, we’re all one and we all need to feed back into the universe." Good words for these times.

In the last decade, Jafri who considers himself a Global Citizen, spent five years visiting 42 refugee camps in the world. His take away was to donate a portion of each sale to charity and he has raised over $48m . Collectors of Jafri’s work include a who's who of contemporary culture: Bill Gates, George Clooney, President Obama, President Clinton, David Beckham, Sir Richard Branson, HH Prince Albert of Monaco, The King of Spain, as well as numerous Royal Families, private, corporate, and museum collections. Most of the money goes to various organizations working for children, notably those with mental health issues or special needs, or orphaned refugees from war zones. He is the recipient of numerous awards including, the UN's " Artist and Humanitarian" award, and the” Global Gift Foundation Humanitarian Award”, for efforts “ to help achieve positive change in the lives of children and women by providing shelter, food, clothing, education, medical care, social inclusion, and gender equality.” Jafri is the youngest artist in art history to receive an 18-year retrospective, traveling to 28 countries in 2019-2022.

“An artist is someone who lives their life as an artist, and every now and then, things spill out of them as a byproduct of that life — that is art. That is something beautiful, meaningful and poignant. Rest of it is a manipulated commodity. It’s pretty disgusting to make money out of something soulful. Art becomes a piece of your soul, unfortunately that’s being forgotten.” S Jafri

Sacha Jafri creates world's largest canvas

“The Journey Of Humanity” by Dubai-based British artist Sacha Jafri was auctioned in Dubai and raised over 45 million pounds for children’s charities .Jafri invited children across the world to submit their own drawings which he incorporated into the work, “The Journey Of Humanity” which measures over 18,000sq meters. .The work will be submitted to the Guinness Book of World Records to claim the title of largest canvas painting ever created by a single artist. Proceeds from the sale will benefit projects headed by Unicef, Unesco, the Global Gift Foundation and the United Arab Emirates-based philanthropic organization Dubai Cares.

Jafri Inspired Mixed Media Painting

Last week we continued the series: Giving a contemporary face to ancient cultures. We explored the work of British born, Dubai based Anglo/Indian artist, Sacha Jafri.


There is no other culture that celebrates color as much as India. We did a lesson on Indian Folk Art two years ago and it was a favorite. We continued looking further into the culture concentrating on the uses of color in fabrics and festivals concluding again with our version of henna hands.

 Week One: Cave Paintings

It has been an eventful week in our Art Literacy class. We have been all around the world.  I would like to thank all of my wonderful students for their great efforts. We began with the story of the discovery of the discovery of cave paintings in Lascaux,  France  and also looked at images from  Spain , where the oldest known cave paintings have been found,  in the cave called El Castillo. The prehistoric dots and crimson hand stencils are now the world's oldest known cave art that dates more than 40,800 years old.

© Serene Greene- Art Literacy Academy
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