Parthan began as an engineer, but was drawn into the world of art in 1974, when he stumbled onto a book detailing the history of Western art. Parthan began to study the Indian mystical arts, exploring tantra, ritual arts, and Indian mythology. Simultaneously, Western art continued to exert an influence. Parthan names Larry Rivers, Miro, and the Cubist painters as important models. In 1995, Parthan began to study computers, learning hardware engineering, building his own machine, and creating programs. A revolutionary in the Indian art scene, Parthan has held major shows in both India and abroad. His most recent solo show was held in 2008 in Delhi at Vadehra Art Gallery.