Sharmistha Ray Studio unveiled Mythic Beings, the first figurative painting by the artist at the fourth edition of Bellevue Salons held at the artist’s studio yesterday on the themes of gender, self-discovery and representations of beauty. Well-known performing musicians Joi Barua and Geetu Unplugged were invited to compose and perform original songs around the key themes.
“Bellevue Salons started as a way to empower the artist to engage directly with a selected public,” says Sharmistha Ray. “There aren’t many social spaces in the city that elicit meaningful engagement about art beyond a solo exhibition at a commercial gallery. The salon is a conduit to thinking more innovatively about sharing a body of work at different stages of its development, rather than at the very end.”
The city’s culturati gathered at the artist’s studio on Friday evening for an exclusive viewing of a large oil painting depicting a monolithic nude flanked by recognizable icons from Indian, Asian and western cultures. “As a painter, I’ve always been fascinated by the scale and ambition of western history painting to capture a Zeitgeist,” says Ray. “Mythic Beings is predicated on the problematic intersections of female identity with culture, history, sexuality and modes of representation in our society at this very moment. I hope this painting – which took me two years to make – forces us to look at ourselves more critically.”
Present at the salon were a diverse array of personalities including TV actor Nakuul Mehta and his singer wife Jankee, auctioneer Sonal Singh, celebrity columnist Malavika Sangghvi, photographer Gauri Gill, CEO of Vu Technologies Devita Saraf, art critic Nancy Adajania & celebrity cosmetologist Dr. Rashmi Shetty.
Sharmistha Ray is a Mumbai and New York-based contemporary artist with numerous international solo and group exhibitions under her belt. The recipient of notable awards including a TED Fellowship (2009) and Montblanc Young Artist World Patronage (2012), Ray has also worked on special art projects with leading institutions and corporates like Berklee College of Music, The Godrej Group and Mahindra & Mahindra. She is an occasional art writer and founder of Bellevue Salons, a mobile cross-cultural salon that aims to augment participatory modes of engagement with contemporary art in surprising new ways.