Art and us

There is a story behind every artwork.


We have a new artwork on our walls. A four-frame series done by my handsome husband. Each of the paintings was made over the last couple of years; before we even got married. The artworks, for a long time, were lost in the depths of the many unused blankets, books, and suitcases in our closet. And unearthed after a spurt of intense cleaning last weekend. These paintings, I recall, were dissected over long international calls from the States to India. Ready to grab the smallest of excuses to let the call linger for a while longer, banal questions dressed up as profound ones, were asked and answered. As the artworks increased, there grew a repository of shared discussions that only we understood. The canvases that in some small way helped us understand and decode each other, now hang proudly on the wall. A reminder of our long calls, shared laughs, and hefty bills. 

The frames are stuck on three old  not-used-anymore belts. We thought it gave a nice rustic look to the set up. The paintings are by Nitish Vasudevan

Muse: Chloe

How a thriller inspired a full-blown paint night at home

We did not plan to paint that particular night. It just happened. The night started with one of us picking a random movie on Netflix (without seeing reviews or rating). The movie was Chloe. It’s about a prostitute named Chloe (played by Amanda Seyfried) who is hired by Catherine (Julianne Moore) to check if her husband David (the striking Liam Neeson) is cheating on her. Things go awry when Chloe gets clingy with Catherine. And the end is tragic. So much that we decided to do something fun to burst the cloud of uneasy-sadness around us.

Two shots of vodka later, we took a cardboard piece, and the entire box of acrylics that we had; spread it on the kitchen island. With some 90s pop music in the background, we decided to paint something themed on Chloe.

And this is how the end result looked.

To make things more fun, we decided that we each would keep to our side of the cardboard-canvas and choose a restricted choice of colours for the other. He chose black, blue, green and yellow for me, and I chose brown, orange, navy blue and apple green for him. We also decided to get out of our comfort zones and paint in a style that is not us. I, usually a sucker for form, did abstract; and he, who usually lets paint do its magic by itself, went more rigid and geometrical.

As the bottles of Yuengling traditional lager (mine) and Ballast Point’s Grapefruit Sculpin (his) grew empty, the boring brown of the cardboard was covered with strokes that surprised us. The new born ideas, given birth by a Roger Ebert-3.5 movie, poured out through our brushes, even more intensely with each large gulp of the Lager. Buzzed and exhausted ‘creatively’ – we sat down to explain the logic behind why we painted what we painted. Mine was quite simple. A love triangle – depicted by black ghostly figures. The green and black loops suggest a whirlpool of dark jealous emotions. His, was simpler than mine. He drew the skeleton of Catherine and David’s house and padded it with a tree, a road, and a big orange Sun. We bridged the two sections with the painting of a hairpin, which those of you who have watched the movie would know does get quite some screen space.

But what’s a perfect ending to a night without some experimental/crazy art? We kept our brushes aside, and squeezed some paint on to a piece of cardboard that he was using as his pallette. A lot of carefree smudging later, we got this.

The two babies now have a place on our restroom walls. While there are times when I am tempted to rip them off the wall and hide them in the closet, I keep them for they continue to tell different stories each day. And the best of all is about how two people spent their evening taking a sad movie and making it better.