Born in 1967 in Kurunegala, Anup Vega, like most artists, began drawing at an early age. Unlike most, Vega did not pursue a further education in fine art. Art was simply habitual enjoyment for him, his inspiration was untainted by the theories and art movements of a syllabus. Vega lived in Kurunegala until 1979, finishing his O Levels to please his mother, a school teacher at the time, and then left school to wander about for a few years, playing the guitar as a hobby. In 1990 Vega entered the hotel industry and he found himself returning to art using food and beverage as a medium, he recalls a time when he was inside looking out into the desert, during a 10 month stint in the United Arab Emirates, while carving out an ice sculpture (sculpture is one medium we
have yet to see Vega produce but this conversation in itself we hope has inspired him). Vega returned to Sri Lanka and began drawing and painting again. It was not long before he was discovered by Mr. Ajitha de Costa, owner of the Heritage Gallery, which was located in the same building that now is the Saskia Fernando Gallery. This was the beginning of Vega’s career as arguably, one of Sri Lanka’s best draftsmen and foremost self-taught artists. This is one major characteristic of Vega’s that brings a very strong spiritual element to his work. When you meet him he ticks all the stereotypes of an artist in the least stereotypical way. In his old Volkswagen van he travels around the island practicing his yoga, painting and continuously sketching in his glorious little books. Here is an artist with a natural-born talent.