The glass doors open. There is a gush of white. All you see is mountains for eternity – snow covered and with a blinding sheen. Like folds of a gown, with creases at certain places and smooth satin left to flow in certain others, the white princess spreads her beauty as Mont Blanc in the Alps, and as a series of acrylic paintings in the Art Houz.
A surprisingly refreshing addition to the noteworthy collection of the artist, the paintings seem to shout out the versatility of AP Shreethar and his strokes. One could imagine how his brushes would have tickled the surface of the canvas to bring out the glistening silver of the pinnacles, or scumbled over to produce the moonlit shadows of majesticity.
The paintings, which adopt the unseen style of ‘14-layered realism’, as the name suggests, appear real to the point that the click of your sandals on tiles begin to sound more like the sound of gumboots on the crunching grass on a misty morning. You check for the misty breath and run your fingers to feel the gooseflesh.
A long, focused look brings out the 3D effect of the paintings and you begin to imagine the ice slowly melt from the caps, unveiling the rusty wrinkles of rocks. You tend to wait a little longer for the white blots of cotton clouds to move, so that the summit is seen or even extend a hand to touch the snow that has slowly smudged its way down like a semi-melted vanilla scoop.
The 200-odd paintings from the collection of 121 mountain-themed paintings of Shreethar come as a prologue to his work on the subject, which he plans to pursue for the next couple of years, visiting La Princess Blanche himself.
At the inauguration of the seminal collection, Franck Priot, COO and Deputy Director General of Film France, apart from establishing the obvious connection that the paintings held with France, also draws out a common thread between an artist and a film-maker. The first step in producing a cinema, Franck says, is to bring out the photos, where it’s all about creating stories based on shapes, voice and figures of those seen for real. “It is true and not true at the same time,” he adds.
This takes just one revisit to the golden contours of Mont Blanc in one of the paintings. It has neither the malevonence of grayish blue, nor the mystique of white. Almost like discovering a burning pile of woods amidst the ice, the painting brings out a sense of warmth. “…So solemn, so serene, that man may be … But for such faith with nature reconciled...” Shelly has never been proved more right.