The Alliance Française of Hyderabad and the Salar Jung Museum, with the support of the French Embassy in India, are organising a show of paintings titled Portraits 2007: From Maharajas To Glitterati, by French artist Marion Colomer, from 13th to 26th February, at the Salarjung Museum.
Colomer is a young painter aged 25, who has been living and working in Paris and New Delhi since 2003. She studied painting, lithography and photography in Paris, in ENSBA (France's top art school). In 2004, she held an exhibition at the Habitat Centre in New Delhi with the help of the French Embassy, "India Of The Thousand Faces", which featured portraits of men living in Malviya Nagar, a local neighbourhood.
Today, through her portraits of people of high society, she has changed her perspective of India. Her original idea was to use the Western tradition of paintings in royal courts during the XVIII Century to draw the India of Maharajas, and the Hyderabadi noble society, old as well as new. She functions as an "official painter", with an emphasis on the settings and symbols of power.
Colomer, when she is creating a portrait, tries to guess who this person is, imagine his or her life, and paint the person along with his or her environment. Yet the person remains always elusive, as hidden behind a veil. Her portraits are an explosion of colors, motifs and textures typically Indian, ranging from the richest to the more modest. This profusion is aimed to muddle the viewer who cannot comprehend the portrait in one glance. She would like the viewers to ask themselves the same type of questions she faced when she was painting: Who is this mysterious person?
Colomer often integrates elements of embroidery into her paintings. They constitute a bridge between Indian and French cultures as they refer both to her interest in French haute couture and to the typical motifs inlaid in Indian miniatures. She uses embroidery created for this purpose by Indian craftsmen, and appreciates this type of close cooperation in creation, as she explains "I really want to work with artist craftsmen, because they represent all that is disappearing in France, but still exists here, in India."
She is supported in her project by the French Embassy in India, and notably by Bénédicte Alliot, Cultural Attaché at the Embassy. She is developing this project in her studio at New Delhi.
The exhibition is open everyday except Fridays, from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Please contact the Alliance Francaise at 2770-0734/2770-0735/2770-0736 for further details.