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Women of fantasy

Buwa Shete's paintings show his penchant for the feminine form, often cast in a romantic mould



The artist focuses on the female protagonist.

BORN IN Mahi Jalgaon in Kolhapur district in Maharashtra, Buwa Shete went on to complete a degree in Applied Arts in Pune in 1984. He began his career as a commercial artist working with advertising agencies in creative positions. He was also involved with several leading publications as an illustrator and design consultant before taking on painting as a full-time occupation.

Own style

Buwa says that he has now developed his own style, which has imprints of his rural upbringing, juxtaposed with modern urban values he imbibed during his stay in cities such as Pune. "I often employ the human figure to tell a story and use everyday themes like parent and child to bring out various shades of human emotions," he says.

Buwa's exhibition of paintings, which is currently on at Gallery G, brings to fore his penchant of the feminine form. Swamping his canvases with rich colours and garnishing them with muffled textures and tones, the artist places the female protagonist at the focus of each image. She is seen in isolation as well as in the company of friends. Presented in full profile — standing or reclining — she is the personification of grace and beauty. In a few paintings, she is engrossed in a musical instrument or swaying on a swing. In yet another she is even presenting her bare back to a young kid to scribble letters!

The varied postures are handled with a soft touch to amplify the sweet tone and pleasing temper of the images. While the paintings seem to succeed in pleasing the eye, they cannot conceal their decorative facade. The characters have an ethereal existence and entrenched in a world of fantasy, far removed from the real world. The facial expression, the body language and the overall mood and feel of the paintings are excessively romantic — with other emotions and viewpoints seldom finding a place in the paintings.

Never vulgar

Having said this, one must also recognise that there is no attempt to overtly glorify or blatantly vulgarise the feminine form. One could also admire the technical competence of the artist, and hope that his future works do permit a contrapuntal focus on varied facets of femininity rather than a restrictive vision on a unidimensional, if pleasing, aspect of it.

The exhibition concludes on February 28.

ATHREYA

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