Dalal (1955-2018) is the creator of this series called 'The Fossilized Passions of Da Vinci' which took him over five years to complete. An exemplary painter of Indian origin who possessed a scientific bent of mind, coupled with a philosophical outlook, Dalal felt an unexplained, yet strong connection with the universal genius of da Vinci.
'The Fossilized Passions of Da Vinci' is about those emotions, expressions and experiences of Leonardo that were trapped in transition, during his pursuit of solving the 'Universal Equation'. These paintings are a result of the resurrection of those same passions. The paintings are based on the life of Leonardo Da Vinci, not as a homage, but due to visions so persistently haunting, that their full comprehension completely transformed the way I perceived the implausibility's and negativities that lay within my soul, wrote Bharat Dalal during his lifetime.
One of the most intriguing features of his art was the technique. He hung the humongous blank canvases from the ceiling with the help of pulleys and then began working on his brilliant pieces. With sheer skill he would cover the negative spaces around the required portion and drop the desired color on it.
Unlike most artists, he let the force of gravity define the flow of the paint, allowing the hues to naturally adopt the pattern. As a final touch, he would rub the paintings with sandpaper, leaving behind a soothing grainy and marble effect. He was so confident about his work that he urged the viewers to touch them and revel in its feel. He zeroed in on long lasting exterior paints so the paintings would last for years to come and the marbleized effect would never deteriorate.
A fruit of nearly five years of work in the US, this series of paintings, accompanied by handwritten poems and in-depth manuscripts by the artist, provide the viewer an opening to partake in the universal metamorphosis so integral to Da Vinci. Simple, direct, and highly introspective, with the realistic, the expressionistic, and the abstract finding a perfect counterpoint, the paintings are underlined with an exceptional originality and a vastly different interpretation of the 15th century master.
The handwritten journals titled "The Non-Fictional Manuscripts of Bharat Dalal" provide analysis and exposition for Dalal's body of work and run into over a hundred pages.
According to Dr Bernadette Escalona-Cooper, Curator, Bharat Dalal was an artist who traversed beyond boundaries.
"He was an international artist of Indian origin, did his magnanimous paintings in the USA, and examined the works of the Italian great Renaissance artist Leonardo da Vinci. He could have been a phenomenal or forgotten artist. But in retrospect, the geniuses behind this ambitious art exhibit project opted to call him phenomenal because of his ingenuity and introspective mind," Dr Bernadette told
Suniti Joshi, Dalal's apprentice who was with him for 5 years in the US while creating the artworks, shares: "In the summer of 1980 Bharat asked me to join him in his dream project- Metamorphosis, I was completely surprised, and thrilled. We had been discussing the paintings which were going to happen on a massive scale, I didn't know much about them. So, my role till then was limited to helping him with whatever he needed help with. Sometime sketching some diagrams, sometime sourcing out some material.
"The reason I was part of this project were two folds. One, I had a base in the Los Angeles, and second, I was an illustrator, and that was a skill he was going to require with the paintings. It all made good sense."
"The exhibition of artist Bharat Dalal consisting of six large sized exemplary works completed in six years of time during the 1980's shall prove to be a visual delight for the spectators. We feel that these works are inspired by the famous renaissance master Leonardo Da Vinci's works, but they possess a unique non-replicable technique used by the artist and the philosophical quest for the universal equivalence," Vikash Nand Kumar, Co-curator of the exhibition, told IANSlife.
The exhibition is scheduled to take place from August 25.
(Siddhi Jain can be contacted at email@example.com)