1. Shades and Shadows
The hotel lobby seemed more packed than I had ever seen it. Granted, I had only seen it a couple of times before, but today, there was very little space to walk around. From what I could see, they were waiting to go into the Picasso hall, the largest space in the hotel which was mostly reserved for big wedding receptions. The announcement display outside the hall had a big poster on it.
“Safe to say that this rush is not for a wedding this time,” I thought to myself, as I walked towards it. “Maybe it is some kind of talent show with a big prize at stake. I don’t see what else can bring so many people. Competitions spur even the mildly talented to try their hand.”
When I finally pushed my way through, I saw that it wasn’t exactly a talent show. The poster, in attractive colors and art, proclaimed…
“Shades and Shadows – The Paintings of Sayuri Shah.”
“Finally! An art exhibit in the hall named after Picasso.”
I knew that Picasso was a great artist, but other than that, my interest in and knowledge of art was minimal, maybe almost non-existent. I left Mrinal to talk with someone who he had recognized, and found a way inside the hall.
The hall had been transformed for the show. The chairs has vanished, and a red carpet now covered the white marble floor. On the peach colored walls, many framed paintings had been hung. People hovered in front of each, some holding glasses of red wine and mulling over them. I only noticed them for a fleeting moment. My eyes lingered on the paintings instead.
It was abstract art. Some had shapes. Others were dotted with randomness. But I noticed mainly the colors. Subtle touches indicated a practiced hand. Orange here, yellow there, splashes of various shades of green. Did they have meaning? If they did, it was subtle too. There was a small tape saying “SOLD” below some. I wondered what price they had fetched.
Near the front of the hall, a single easel showcased a canvas. Abstract art again, but this time, I could have sworn it spoke to me. I stood in front of it, admiring the work silently.
“It isn’t quite complete,” a voice broke my thoughts, and I turned to find her smiling at me.
(© Vinay Leo R. @ I Rhyme Without Reason,
8th October, 2018)