Srila Prabhupada called Krishna conscious art “Windows to the Spiritual World.” Every once in a while, an artist comes along who is truly blessed with the ability to open those windows for us.
One of today’s most exciting spiritual artists, Radhe Gendron, grew up in the ‘80s and ‘90s on the New Mayapur farm in France, daughter of pujari Visesa Dasi and handyman Nrsimhananda Das. She started painting at the age of four.
Visesa Dasi was extremely supportive of her daughter’s innate talent, constantly encouraging her and engaging her in service to the Deities. As a teenager, on any given festival Radhe might be creating and painting wooden cut-out gopis for the altar, or helping her mother design outfits for Sri-Sri Radha Govinda Madhava.
Other devotees gave her opportunities to prove herself, instilling confidence in her. At just 17, a temple in Rouen, the capital of Normandy, gave Radhe her first commercial order when they commissioned her to paint a very large 180 x 90cm (nearly 6 x 5 feet) acrylic panel of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and Nityananda Prabhu dancing in Harinama Sankirtana.
With the flame fanned, Radhe took art history in university and at age 20 attended the Transcendental Art Seminar under BBT art legends Dhriti Dasi and Ramdas Abhirama Das to improve her skills, and learn about Srila Prabhupada’s instructions on Krishna conscious art.
Over the years that followed, the demands and responsibilities of life often made complete focus on her art difficult for Radhe. Living in Holland with her husband, photographer Bimala Naysmith, she first had a full-time job in customer support, then became a stay-at-home mom, caring for her son Kirtan.