A telescopic glimpse of City's cultural hues

Artwork of Bengaluru-based artist Nilofer Suleman, which includes paintings and compositions, portraying comical observations from Old Delhi areas like Chandni Chowk and so on, are at display at the Gallery Latitude 28 of Saket till January 10.

Titled ‘Jantar Mantar’, the exhibition’s features the artist’s flamboyant compositions that are decorated with witty details and peopled with famous idols of religion, quirky shop signs reiterating the vintage cultural hues of Delhi.

According to the organisers the artist is inspired by Indian typography and street graphics. “Her work is a coalition of styles that weave together a host of Indian influences like animated characters, old and charming lithographs of gods and goddesses
hidden away on tin boxes, hilarious misspelt words and matchbox art.”

Suleman has a certain ‘ability’ to depict a certain vision of India, one that elicits humour and a sense of nostalgia. “Her use of colour is generous, an onslaught of competing tones. The paintings are difficult to see all at once.

They require repeated viewing, a return in search of nuance. Within the compositions, references are made to popular pictures of Hindu deities, to film posters and shop signs,” the organisers added.   

“While deconstructive art is increasingly popular in contemporary circles, my practice is focused on preserving and documenting all the detail and charm of that older
world, where intricate stories and landscapes of lovers were carved into window frames and signboards were painted with as much loving attention as canvases in galleries,”
said Suleman.

“I want to hold the hand of the viewer, and escape into a universe painted inside a matchbox cover, into memories of being a child growing up in small-town India, watching movies from underneath wooden benches in old cinema halls,” Suleman added.

Suleman started her career as a cartographer and miniature artist, collecting and recreating columbus-esque old maps, rivers and mountain. She said that her “paintings are inspired by Indian typography and street graphics”.

 “With my Jantar Mantar, I allow you a telescopic glimpse into my universe of starry eyed-lovers,” she concluded.

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