Twenty-two Mumbai-based artists display their works, transcending genres with their eclectic themes
An exhibition of paintings by 22 Mumbai-based artists stands out for its bright colours and varied themes. ‘Art Potpourri from Mumbai’ on at Vinyasa Premier Art Galery goes beyond clichés, interweaving different styles. Manisha Patil’s portraits take you on a nostalgic trip. You catch glimpses of a bygone era — an ornate teak table, an old cupboard, a charming carpet girls with long pigtails and flowing skirts, a kurta-pyjama clad boy wearing a bemused expression…. The pastel and blue-grey colours too complement the vintage look. There is something appealing about Sanjay N. Raut’s art, even if the themes are religious and take us back to a time when Brahmin boys were schooled in temples. The painting of a dhoti-clad boy immersed in prayer, eyes closed, and forehead smeared with ash and vermillion, is striking. Fresco painting from a temple wall illuminates the background. Other frames show boys reading from the scriptures and performing puja in a temple courtyard, the older boys looking on, with their warm, chocolate eyes. . Mughal hues give Prabhakar Patil’s paintings a rather regal feel. The doorways are arched with domes. The warrior riding an animal in elegant robes looks royal. The animal seems to have an elephant’s head and a lion’s body, with claws and a long tail. Another frame depicts a courtyard, surrounded by hills and tall trees with spindly branches, lit up by a rising sun. Ajinkya Chaulkar’s life-size sculptures of villagers provide a peek at a world we rarely venture into. There is a farmer in worn-out clothes, carrying a sheaf of paddy on one shoulder, his meal in the other hand. He wears a turban and looks rugged, much like the women accompanying him. One is carrying a basket of fish, while the other is holding a winnow over her head.
The Buddha in Parsaram Sutar’s art, with his eyes closed, enveloped in misty blue swirls and dark lotuses, looks serene. Nitin Utge’s portraits of Shiva and Vishnu, on the other hand, seem to come alive in different shades of indigo. In the backdrop are the various symbols one associates with the deities — trishool, linga and nandi for Shiva, and cows for Vishnu.
Returning to the rustic theme is Avinash Mokashe with his portrayal of a man and woman. Sporting earrings, a thick moustache and a kurta, the man (there’s a palace in the background) could be anyone. Fittingly, his eyes are empty, perhaps indicating exactly that. The woman too has a vacant expression. Earthen shades liven up both these small square portraits.
Ganesh Chougule’s festive bull is a riot of colour. Look closer and you realise that the animal has soft eyes. Prakash Deshmukh paints two vivid pictures — a fairytale princess flying in the air and a representation of Lakshmi, seated on a lotus, with a vessel on her lap. Green elephants adorn the background.
Art Potpourri is on at Vinnyasa Art Galery, 1 Main Road, C.I.T Colony, Mylapore till November 20, between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.