Jalpa Vithalani_ COsmic Heart Gallery
Paul B
As a child I was already absorbed in the world of color, texture, fantasy and the good old tradition of the narrative. I remember as a child I would return from school play with the other kids but wait to get home and paint, be it with crayons, oil pastels, or watercolors. This was my secret world of fantasy, a place where magic existed unperturbed by the world’s influences.
In my early years, I largely painted with whatever medium available on paper and graduated to working on canvas in oils and gold leaf.
As every aspiring artist I desired to formally study art in a respected art college but that was a dream never fulfilled in spite of trying every year for six years and being rejected every single time -  must have been a blessing in disguise for it furthered the desire, even more strongly to pursue my calling.
Being a self taught artist, I have always had the freedom to explore with various mediums and the trial n error method was my only way of learning. Sometimes it’s easier to start without the structure of any rules of do’s & don’ts, of norms to conform.
Nature, spirituality and human relationships were at the core of my favorite subjects during my formative years. I then started gravitating towards questioning spirituality, ritualism and blind faith in the context of religion. Being born in a family of protestant priests and having studied in a catholic institution only further predicated  the internal dialogues and further took shape in the vocabulary of orthodox Byzantine Christian iconic art. My references  came from my school days spent at the church, surrounded by awe inspiring stained glass windows , mosaics of the stations of the cross, the virgin n child , the resurrected Christ and such…they all left  an indelible imprint on my mind and probably secretly formed a language in my mind.
My interest extended towards collecting Christian art, discarded altars and somewhere in this search was a quest to preserve the last symbols of Christianity that typified the faith in its own unique Indian ness. There possibly also lurks a desire to preserve, restore and create a space for these artifacts in today’s time and thereby highlight their historical significance but that in itself is a mammoth task with which I am still struggling to figure ‘HOW’. Having said that though the seed of thought has already taken root and one hopes that it thrives in the days to come.
My art resonates this very same style and ethos, strongly Byzantine but essentially Indian. This style came to me naturally and I thought it was the perfect language to bring into perspective my Christian childhood, the current times and events of the church and my life, and to glorify, romanticize and at times question spiritualism and ritualism in the Christian context.
I find my world revolves around the beauty of detail. I worked earlier in small formats which gave me a sense of working in miniatures but limited my narrative but now am exploring works in larger formats and although the scale of work is time consuming and the process laborious the scope for narrative and detail is limitless. I largely work with oil and 24 carat gold leaf on canvass. At times it feels like I’m living in medieval times commissioned by the church to paint it in all its glory.
© All Images on Cosmic Heart Gallery are Copyright Protected © Cosmic Heart Gallery . All rights reserved