Bengaluru's MKF Museum of Art showcases work by two artists, that captures the essence of old Bangalore
There's poetry in their paintings. Artists Shilpa Rao and Spoorthy Murali have captured the beauty of Bengaluru and the elements that define it, in their latest work, and every piece speaks to the viewer through its finer details. Titled Unwind Rewind, the show that’s curated by well-known artist Shirley Mathew, opened at the MKF Museum of Art earlier this week.
Spoorthy’s set of artworks capture the iconic spots of Bengaluru such as the Karnataka High Court, Lalbagh, Town Hall and Vidhan Soudha. What’s unique is how Spoorthy has combined visual elements from a bygone era with the contemporary landscape around such buildings. In one of the paintings featuring Vidhan Soudha, the artist has recreated the building without its fence and has painted Ambassador cars with beacons in front of the structure, which is reminiscent of an earlier era. “In reality, you may not have seen certain elements together, but I like to add my own components, such as an open door, broken glass shards or just different tones. It’s the city as I see it, and in some of the paintings, I have tried to capture the old Bangalore that I have grown up in,” explains the artist. Most of her work is watercolour on paper, and there are four pieces which are charcoal on paper.
While Spoorthy’s work focuses on the topography of Bengaluru, Shilpa’s work highlights the culture and food that’s unique to the city. There are pieces that feature local delicacies such as vadas, masala dosa and tea in glass tumblers. There are also paintings that depict the iris flower and figs that are found around the city. “My forte is still life, so I have used food as my subject,” says Shilpa, who has worked with acrylic and oil paints. She says, “I have pushed my boundaries to make acrylic work look like oil paintings. I am inclined towards hyperrealism. There is no hidden meaning in what I do. What I see, I try to replicate in the same way.” Both the artists’ work evokes fond memories of old Bangalore, while also capturing the constantly evolving city.
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