Joy in little things: This exhibition captures hope in mundane everyday life of an Indian metropolis

New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) Strolling up and down the streets is a routine affair for all of us but a humble Mumbai-based artist is out to capture hope and positivity that we fail to take note of in our humdrum lives.

The “ways and subways of life”, says painter Mahesh Karambele, have not only led him to be a passionate artist but have literally constituted the ethos of his musings on canvas. The strength of his brush dipped in oil paint confidently etches out silhouettes of vehicular traffic, bridges, carts and flower sellers of city, capturing the ethos of a buzzing metropolis.

His ongoing exhibition “Reflections” at Lalit Kala Akademi here is a fascinating experience and brings forth all those facets that most of us generally miss from the scenery around us.

Fancy this: A life-size painting of a dark street, decked with cloudy sky and buildings as dark as the night welcomes one to this exhibition. Where is the hope, you may ask?

“This is my favourite painting. I have called it the “City of hope” and it is very much similar to what we see frequently around us. It is a scene of a monsoon evening of a street in Mumbai.

“I have purposely used black in abundance so that the glittering silver in distance becomes more lively. Like everything else in life, this painting is so full of hope. It shows you that no matter what happens, there is light at the end of it all,” Karambele told IANS.

The artist further shared that he initially began by attempting to capture the scene from his memory. It was a stormy evening, he recalled, but the lightning added a substance of hope. Even when everything was dark, there would lightning in the midst of it all and for a moment you could see everything clearly. It also reminded one that the sun will again rise the next day and bring in a fresh ray of hope, he said.

The monsoon holds a special place as the artist creates washes and adeptly applies the oil medium with the expertise of watercolour techniques. The romanticism and inspiration that accompanies the rains is well-depicted in his works.

Buildings flirting with bylanes and pedestrian traffic, paintings of vivid scenes, of ordinary folk and everyday humdrum of city living, the artist’s collection is a much needed reminder of the simple artistic beauties that are fast losing a place from our lives.

The rush that characterises Karambele’s canvases can be alluded to the adrenaline rush that the artist tends to work with, driven by the hidden joys in everyday chaos, crammed bylanes with city’s crowds and the perennial metropolitan pace of living.

“First one has to work on thought process and the colour scheme. Then I associate myself with my work, I forget everything around me and devote 10-12 hours continuously on one painting. The best feeling is when a painting is ready. It is an overwhelming emotion, something that you cannot describe, a phase when you realise that your hard work has been meaningful,” he shared.

His paintings draw out the best of the perspectives as the colours shine bright against the evening light — luminosity combined with the transparency of the weather — culls a beautiful cityscape that one can lose oneself into… indefinitely!

“There are men and women, children and elderly, rich and poor, all of them busy in their day-to-day lives. This makes it so classic to even look at. So many different kinds of emotions — a happy face or sorrowful eyes, a tired man literally walking down the street towards the end of the day or the ecstatic young children making their way to schools — all of them make the lifeless streets come alive,” he elaborated further on his exhibition.

Karambele studied the technicalities of fine art as a sheer passion to fuel his natural bent for capturing his imagery on canvas. Adept at all mediums, he enjoys playing with chiaroscuro as much as he dabbles with everyday subjects, symbolically trying to portray that there is joy in every little thing.

The exhibition is on display at Lalit Kala Akademi here till February 25.

(Saket Suman can be contacted at saket.s@ians.in)

–IANS

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