'aPaulogy' is a museum of old Bangalore pictures, rendered in quirky water colour

Paul Fernandes’ art gallery in Richard’s Town, though named ‘aPaulogy’, is unapologetically nostalgic about Bangalore.

Nestled near the leafy Richard’s park at the head of the stately Clark’s Road, it is a museum of old Bangalore pictures, rendered in quirky ‘cartoony’ water colour.

Paul, a contemporary cartoonist, paints Bangalore as he remembers it, from the 60s and 70s.

“Some parts of the city have gotten much better, but some are definitely headed in the wrong direction,” he says, before he goes into his favourite topic — the need to preserve trees and establish alternate travel paths.

Landmarks vanished

The paintings that dot the gallery speak his message for him. Broad leafy trees, some of which are conspicuous by their absence today, provide the backdrop of the paintings that hang in his gallery.

Framed in the foreground are several famous Bangalore landmarks, some of which also do not exist anymore — the Plaza theatre, now an entrance to the Bangalore Metro, Victoria hotel and the Bangalore Coffee House.

There are also tributes to those places that have continued their existence, seemingly against the passage of time. “Koshy’s is still the same,” reminisces Mona Weber, curator of the gallery, referring to the restaurant that has graced St. Mark’s Road since 1940.

Deliberate touch

The nostalgia theme of the gallery is a deliberate touch. “My first point when I paint is to be positive about these paintings, so that they are not a turn-off. If these were serious paintings intended to educate people, I am not sure any visitor would come through these doors,” Paul says. “I did these mainly for myself. But, now, even children seem fairly interested.”

The future of Bangalore, he adds, is in synthesising the new and the old.

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Up CloseApril 13, 2011