Dreamcatcher

Gazala Chinwalla quit her job at Citibank to paint. Having lived in the Big Apple for 26 years,this artist is bringing her first solo show to Mumbai,the city where she grew up.

Written by Georgina Maddox | Published:February 20, 2009 3:09 am

From modelling and designing to baking,this artist finally gets her Bombay dream

Gazala Chinwalla quit her job at Citibank to paint. Having lived in the Big Apple for 26 years,this artist is bringing her first solo show to Mumbai,the city where she grew up.

“It’s a big moment for me,showing in my hometown. Even though I have had five

solos,including one each in London,New York and Italy,this is a precious moment. The Mumbai collectors are very discerning,” says the financial analysis trainer who coached bankers.

A stint in the fashion industry saw her working with couturiers Oleg Cassini and Oscar de la Renta. Now,she spends all her time on her canvases,sometimes getting up at night to jot down an idea.

The 60-plus artist’s work is heavily influenced by Pablo Picasso; she’s even spent years studying the artist’s style and technique. “I did not want to paint typically Indian stuff for my show in Mumbai—I know there are many artists far more capable of conveying India on the canvas.

I wanted to reflect my own influences and inspirations,” says Chinwalla,indicating that she is a big fan of M F Husain.

While continuing her corporate management career in New York City,Chinwalla enrolled in the School of Visual Arts and Parsons School of Design in their Continuing ED programs,where she studied the works of the 20th Century Western Impressionist’ and Contemporary Masters. “After studying the masters,I realised that my works were international in their approach. However,in my New York show I used Indian motifs in my paintings,” she says.

The stained-glass churches in Rome inspired many of her works and Biblical themes like the crucifixion recur in two of her works. One of them is an elaborate 6×3 composition that emulates stained-glass,yet retains painterly qualities. “I work both in oil and acrylic and it is the acrylic that allows me to detail the works after the larger strokes,” says the artist whose background in fashion clearly shows up in her love for patterning.

Having showed a body of abstract landscapes in Bangalore’s Crimson Art Gallery,she realised that figurative work is what she loves. “Now I have been invited to the Florence Biennale and this reinforces my belief in my art.”

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