Eminent artist Madhuri Bhaduri’s latest artwork is a combination of realism and abstraction in her unique style
Madhuri unveiled her latest artworks Art Meets Form at Natuzzi Italia in Mumbai
It’s been about a decade since art has found its space outside conventional galleries. First, they graced the spaces of open exhibitions followed by hotel galleries, restaurants and cafés. And now it’s time to meet art with luxury collections. While fashion designers are using artworks in their collections, furniture, artifacts and home accessories owners are also collaborating with artists to complement their creations. The recently concluded art show by eminent artist Madhuri Bhaduri at Natuzzi Italia in Worli was nothing less than a luxury meeting conventional art. The huge oils of seascapes and the moon paired with luxury home décor accessories weaved a holistic experience blended with both expression and different elements of nature within the space.
Madhuri unveiled her latest artwork Art Meets Form with prosecco and cheese complementing the rainy evening outside. She tells us that the artwork displayed at the store is the result of five years. “I work with oils and it’s not acrylic, so every work takes months to dry before I bring them for exhibition,” begins the artist who has been painting for about four decades and had her first exhibition in 1986. “I have gone through a long journey. I started as an impressionist with nature and landscapes then in the ’90s I did figurative art for ten years and then came back to abstractive nature,” she says.
Breaking the conventional look of an artist with a khadi ka kurta and jhola or sari, Madhuri appears in a black sleek shimmery dress with diamond earrings and a bracelet to match the attire. With a glass of white wine, she sets herself calmly on the couch for this interview. “I am not a person who would change the look to suit the profession. I like to be what I am. I love to dress up and my paintings represent myself,” says Madhuri who was awarded as Best Designer by CEAD for the Industrial Calendar Project in 1988.
Though Madhuri’s inspiration has been realism, she gradually found her work dwelling more on abstraction. The sensibilities of her work are beautifully represented through horizons, seascapes and the moon by rendering into abstraction. It is this space that fascinates Madhuri. The events across her canvas are intuitive, intense, immediate and direct. She depicts her interaction of mind and matter. “For me the form and texture are important. How I break the canvas and compose it are important in abstraction and repeated use of these elements create a language for me,” explains the Pune-resident who pours herself into her art beyond the subject. “Subject becomes immaterial, but I have my ways of looking at it.”
Among over 20 artworks, what caught our attention was the moon series which had Madhuri’s unique sharp lines with a dash of colours that we see in most of her paintings displayed in the store presenting a strong yet calming sense. She has predominantly worked in oils for the last three decades and has also experimented in several mediums like acrylic, stain glass, fibreglass and scrap metal sculpture. The bright colours in her artwork bring you closer to the artist’s dull moments when she allegorically uses colours to cover and compensate for those gloomy days. “You rightly said! It’s not that we don’t have our dull moments. The person you are is going to come into the canvas. I want to spread that joy that I want to feel in those days and that’s there on the canvas. My husband had a long illness before he passed away in 2007 and those years were most challenging but they say emotional struggles are important to get the best work out of an artist and I did some of the strongest work during that time. An artist’s journey is not easy. It’s blood sweat and tears.”
She continues, “I have a certain way of looking at things, so no matter what I paint I will be looking at it that way,” she flaunts and adds that throughout her journey she has tried to reinvent herself with time. “When you are working on canvas every day, it’s an exciting process. The end result is not what I think when I am working. I become a spectator when my work is on display. I analyse my own work and stay away from replicating, as I owe it to myself,” she says.
Hailing from a family of sports enthusiasts and being one herself, Madhuri is a rare combination of sports and art. Posing multiple talents in her personality, she says her sports background and her mother’s love for classical singing helped her become an artist and produce the kind of work she does. Moreover, she emphasises that she is in love with nature. “You can’t change it, you just attempt to change it and interpret it the way you want to see it and want your viewer to see it, but you can’t change the originality of it, so it’s beautiful. My job is done when I am able to take my viewer on the same imaginative journey as I was while creating my artwork. Everything else is secondary,” she says adding that she is not in any rat race. “Money, auctions and other commercial things are all secondary. If it has to happen it will happen. I don’t want to push it. I want to spend my time doing what I can do best.”
When asked how art has evolved over the years and if it’s in a better space, she says more people are becoming aware of art and there is more respect for artists. “The younger generation is more prudent. They are more commercial and not ready to wait. They want results very quickly. Fine art is not something to have a quick result. You have to be so passionate to continue with it,” opines the artist who has two graduate degrees in Economics and Art respectively, along with a degree in Finance in the Art Market from the UK.