"Alice in Wonderland" - Solo show of Minal Shah
My current series is both mentally and emotionally stimulating to me. After painting the same portrait idenctically on all the canvases, other subjects were painted onto it in transparent layers of oil colors. The overlapping subjects range from day-to-day physical experiences to emotional experiences. At some point, when the overlapping transparent subjects meet the underlying portrait, that is when and where a unique dialogue is born on the canvas. Buching several paintings together in a fram is in order to make it resemble to life, as life too is made up of numerous experiences and episodes.
"Alice in Wonderland" (or the portrait series as I like to call them) is all about being, how the experiences of life entangle around one's existence and how still, an individual manages not to get lost in the traffic of life. Life seems to be an ongoing saga of maintaining one's identity while riding the roller coaster ride of experiences. It's the individual who gives meaning to life, and not the other way round. Likewise, ultimately it's the portrait that rules my canvas, and not the layers painted over it that look more dominating at the first glance though. These layers are almost nothing had the portrait not been there. Very much like real life, the experiences are nothing if the individual is not there. The life long interaction between a human and his or her experiences is the central theme.
My style of coloring is something I associate myself quite closely to. Applying transparent layers of oil paints one over another is an exciting job in itself. Different parts of the painting play 'hide and seek' from underneath and around those layers of transparent colors, and thereby give a visual ride to the spectator. Thus it lives up to my belief that a painting shouldn't be revealed in one glance, it must have some mystery to itself that can engage the viewer in joyful searching.
I feel and I think almost at the same time. Both while coloring and composing, I consciously or unconsciously seek balance. And I enjoy this entire journey of creating a painting.
MINAL SHAH 2008