Jagdish was born in Hyderabad, India. He had a passion for drawing even at a young age, but did not discover the medium of paper until he created puppets for a children’s theatre group during his first years struggling to live as an independent artist. These papier-mâché creations developed into busts, masks, and life-sized figures depicting the artists astute perception of the outside world and the fallibility of human nature. Inspired by toys, acquaintances, and incidents from his childhood in India, each piece becomes specific and unique, it’s character subtly revealed through clothing, facial expression, posture, and use of hands. It is Jagdish’s depiction of intimate human emotion that gives his works such universal appeal, affectionately commenting on society and dramatically narrating his stories.
After winning his first paper sculpture prize at the All India Miniature Exhibition, Jagdish was awarded a grant scholarship to work at the prestigious Garhi Studio in Delhi. There he developed his sculpting technique and style, leading to the British Council and Charles Wallace India traveling grant for study in Britain. In 1991, Jagdish was the first Indian offered the status of “artist in residence” at Lakeside Studio outside of Chicago. His highest honor was becoming recipient of the prestigious Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award in 1993, the largest grant offered to independent artists in the United States. Jagdish continues to work out of 3 continents, with studios in India, U.K., and the U.S.