M. Sivanesan was born in Madras (now Chennai) in South India in 1940. He joined the Madras Government College of Arts and Crafts, Madras in 1956. He won an award at International Inter Church, New York in 1962. He has held several one-man shows in India as well as abroad. These include shows in Bangkok (1976); Los Angeles (1977); Ottawa, Canada (1978) and New York and Washington D.C. (1979). He has also been a participant at group shows like the ones at Tokyo, Japan (1967); New York (1968); Frish Art Gallery, New York (1981) and Dhoomimal Gallery, New Delhi (1982).