BANGALORE: Paul Fernandes has captured time in his paintings. Colourful caricatures adorn the walls of the aesthetically done gallery tucked in a sleepy corner on Richards town. But these are no normal caricatures, these paintings depict Bangalore of the 1950’s to the 80’s. The city our ancestors knew, the one we can only see in old tattered black and white pictures. Paul has very creatively reconstructed the past from the little faded episodes of his memory. “I paint Bangalore as I knew it, simple and charming”, he says.
After working in the advertising field, Paul stumbled upon the idea of depicting old Bangalore through caricatures. “I worked in Mumbai in a company called Trikaya and shifted to Bangalore in 1986 to open a studio called Illustration Design Advertising on M G Road. After my partner left, I left advertisement entirely and started cartooning.” Initially Paul travelled to different cities across the country to sketch. “I used to select a city and then stay there for an entire month to get familiar with the people and the places, to piece together the whole thing on a canvas.”
Paul got the idea of bringing back Bangalore of the 50’s in his paintings when his old house came down. “I have fond memories of my old house. It was big and comfortable. But when we built a new house, I decided to start painting ‘old Bangalore’ just to cage my memories,” he says.
He chose caricatures over any other form of painting because he likes to see everything from a ‘funny’ perceptive. “If we add humour to everything, life would be so much better. It bring out the child in you. They are simple yet effective,” he smiles. Paul describes the grey days as golden. “Back then life was simple and carefree. There were hardly any cars and the high rising buildings were missing. Thing was
Each painting is a
masterpiece. Though most of the paintings are from his memories, some details have been picked from other citizen’s anecdotes. “When I have to make a new painting, I go to that particular place and observe it at different times of the day. I observe the people, talk to some of them and then compile the painting. I use only water colours for painting as its uncomplicated,” he says.
The best moment of the day for Paul is when people look at one of his painting and relive there sweetest memories in his gallery. “My gallery is a time machine, it takes people back in time, to their roots.” Through his pictures Paul wants to convey a message, “Keep Bangalore simple, like how it was.”