His palette has seen a riot of colours, and the bristles of his brush have always given vent to his artistic expressions with finesse.
Born in 1940 at Brahmakulam, near Guruvayur, Mr. C. N. Karunakaran took his Diploma in Design from the Madras Government School of Arts and Crafts, which he passed by getting the first rank. Mr. Karunakaran's academic pursuits in arts also earned him a Diploma in Advanced Painting.
Mr. Karunakaran's paintings are figurative with distinct technique in acrylic. His works without fail bear a distinctive style, making him one of the most admired painters and the one whose works are the most sought after. Most of the subjects that he chose to work on are of contemporary in nature. Well known for making use of exquisite colours for his creations, Mr. Karunakaran also likes themes that posses an ethereal quality.
Mr. Karunakaran was credited for owning the first private art gallery in Kerala called 'Chithrakootam', which was started in 1972. He was the founder chairman of the art gallery 'Ochre' in the city of Kochi. At Ochre, art enthusiasts can go through an array of exhibits, which has some of the copies of his paintings, along with the originals. According to this master artist, nobody runs art galleries aiming at profits alone, and for him a good painting is like an excellent investment.
This eminent painter of Kerala had held exhibitions in different parts of India, which include venues like the Jahangir Art Gallery in Mumbai, ABC Art Gallery in Varanasi, Galeria Ralino in Goa, Taj Art Gallery in Mumbai, Art Konsult Gallery in New Delhi, The Gallery Leela in Mumbai and also at venues in Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Chennai and Kochi. Mr. Karunakaran has also taken part in group shows in most of the Indian states and also abroad since 1963.
Professionally, Mr. Karunakaran has lend his skill and expertise by working as a designer at the Madras Design Demonstration Centre, which was a Government of Madras unit for research and improvement of handicrafts, and also as art instructor at Kalapeetam in Kochi.
Achievements were part of Mr. Karunakaran since his younger days, when he won the Government of Madras Gold Medal for the best outgoing student in 1956. Later he was also honoured with the Madras Lalithakala Academy in 1964, and won the Kerala Lalithakala Academy award in the years 1971, 72 & 75. He also won the P.T. Bhaskara Panicker Award in the year 2000.