When Ak­bar met Car­avag­gio

Char­ac­ters from art and his­tory com­mu­ni­cate with city­folk in Schon Men­des’ mammoth paint­ings that are also par­tial mem­oirs, finds Or­nella D’Souza

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - FRONT PAGE -

t’s im­pos­si­ble to read the mul­ti­ple sto­ries that spring forth from a Schon Men­des’ larger- than- life canvas in a jiffy. The nine 6ftx5ft paint­ings at his solo de­but ti­tled Cameos of a city at Sak­shi Gallery, Co­laba, are each labyrinth pock­ets of dis­cor­dant sub­plots, meant for scru­tiny only at a leisurely pace.

“I de­pict how, in a city, the life of one per­son is in­ter­linked with that of an­other, and as mem­bers of so­ci­ety, all that we do in­flu­ences oth­ers who are part of this whole,” says the soft- spo­ken 29- year- old, who took three months to com­plete each paint­ing. The MS Bar­oda alumni was tu­tored un­der pro­fes­sors, artists Rekha Rod­wit­tiya and Suren­dran Nair, from whom, he says, he’s learnt the strict dis­ci­pline of long hours of stu­dio prac­tice, an aware­ness of one’s so­cio- po­lit­i­cal re­al­ity, and that art and life are in­ter­con­nected and in­sep­a­ra­ble.

Or­nella. dsouza@ dnain­dia. net, @_ oregano_

Schon Men­des

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