New Delhi, November 6 (IANS) Living up to the artistic legacy of illustrious parents may be a daunting task but Paris-based Maya Burman — daughter of prominent artists Sakti Burman and Maite Delteil — seems to have created a successful niche of her own in the art world. And, after a hiatus of ten long years, her works are on display in the Capital.
In a solo show titled “Joie De Vivre: Celebrating Life” Burman is displaying a new body of work at Shridharani Gallery in Triveni Kala Sangam here. The exhibition opened on November 5 and will continue till November 13 and will then be showcased at Gallerie Ganesha in Greater Kailash from November 15 to December 7.
Burman works mainly in pen, ink and watercolour — and her paintings are delicate, intricately detailed with a strong fantasy element. “Through this show, joie de vivre is something that I expect to give to people,” the 46-year-old said.
“At the same time, I’m not a naive person. I don’t expect humanity to become a Garden of Eden. And I find it is important and very difficult to bring the feeling of joy to people. And perhaps, even to myself first. My painting is not contemplative, neither meditative. There is a lot of dynamics into it. It’s not a cold allegorical image of joie de vivre. I show the small joys that we all have in everyday’s life,” she said.
Incidentally, Burman never attended art college and instead chose to study architecture. And yet, she could not remain immune to all the art that was happening around her.
“I had my parents to give me direction. It was an informal training with dialogue more than a technical approach. We discussed more about what is painting and why to paint. But it was 24/7 training! They didn’t show me the technical aspects. As it is, we don’t have any similarity in our techniques. It was more a question of observation, and learning from observation,” she maintained.
Burman’s work is a blend of everyday life subjects and surreal imagery that give a dreamlike quality to her paintings. “While the same metaphors can be found in my parents’ works, this is not done purposely, it’s just that I have too much fantasy in my thought process,” she added.
Burman’s work is often seen by art aficionados as having a tapestry like effect where everything is subordinate to patterning, reminiscent of the French art nouveau traditions (geometric and floral work) and European middle age architecture in the country where she lives. What then makes her work an interesting melting pot and a meeting ground between two cultures is that it is interlaced with mythical and folk infused imagery and replete with influences of miniature art, that stem from her Indian ancestry.
For instance, a circular work is like a “never ending story”. It is the continuity between days and nights. In a composition in two tones, one moves from a playful and joyful center till you slowly reach the peaceful and resting edges. Another work shows a magical dream like river which gently sweeps over as you sleep, while the tree of life is a chimerical image of a woman and tree.