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Cultural crossover

Relish the food and appreciate the paintings of Mark Rathinaraj which are on display at Little Italy, the restaurant in Nungambakkam



PORTRAITS AND PIZZAS At Little Italy you can appreciate Italian food and Indian art PHOTO: S. Thanthoni

If you thought that Little Italy in Nungambakkam was all about pasta, pizza, pecorino and panforte, well, you thought wrong. It's about the paintbrush too! As patrons of art and culture, the Italian ristorante is bringing their clientele the experience of the meeting of two cultures, Indian and Italian.

They speak of the cultural crossover: Italy for the body and India for the soul. For, while the food is traditional Italian, the art is contemporary Indian.

Homely decor

Complementing the easy homely dιcor in the restaurant are paintings in assorted dimensions by Mark Rathinaraj.

A talented artist who graduated in Fine Arts from the Kumbakonam College of Art, his works portray subjects drawn from everyday life — of people walking, dancing, selling, talking — just living. The strength of his art lies in an adroit confidence that

suggests spontaneity. Deceptively simplistic, the strokes call to mind complete forms from familiar imagery. The bold line dances on the canvas, in which space is modulated by little else than a wash of burnt sienna that features almost as a trademark in his series.

Novel twist

This is a novel twist to the concept of consumption where you are allowed to relish the food while leisurely appreciating the art, and if you are tempted you can buy a piece of the experience to take home with you, for Mark Rathinaraj's paintings are for sale.

Until May 18 the restaurant also has portrait artists, Sunil and Sanjay from Mumbai, who will sketch your portrait — gratis.

Yes, free of charge. All you have to do is say grazie to Little Italy.

Delectable aesthetics both in terms of food and visual pleasure, the experience is excellent, definitely molto bene.

SWAPNA SATHISH

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