What: Living up to the artistic legacy of illustrious parents is always a daunting task. But Paris-based Maya Burman – daughter of prominent artists Sakti Burman and Maite Delteil – has created a successful niche of her own in the art world. Her solo shows in India are rare and yet she is known to many Indians. In a solo show titled JOIE DE VIVRE:Celebrating Life – that comes after a gap of 10 years – Burman is showing a new body of work. It is presented by Gallerie Ganesha.
Medium: Burman works mainly in pen & ink and watercolour and her paintings are delicate, intricately detailed with a strong fantasy element. “I find it is important and very difficult to bring the feeling of joy to people. And perhaps, even to myself first. My painting is not contemplative, neither meditative. There is a lot of dynamics into it. It’s not a cold allegorical image of JOIE DE VIVRE. I show the small joys that we all have in everyday’s life,” she says.
Artistic trajectory: Burman has never attended Art College and instead chose to study architecture. And yet, she could not remain immune to all the art that was happening around her. “I had my parents to give me direction. It was an informal training with dialogue more than a technical approach. We discussed more about what is painting and why to paint. But it was 24/ 24 training! They didn’t show me the technical aspects. As it is, we don’t have any similarity in our techniques. It was more a question of observation, and learning from observation.”
Observations: Her work is often termed by art aficionados as having a tapestry like effect where everything is subordinate to patterning, reminiscent of the French art nouveau traditions (geometric and floral work) and European middle age architecture in the country where she lives. What then makes her work an interesting melting pot and a meeting ground between two cultures is that it is interlaced with mythical and folk infused imagery and replete with influences of miniature art, that stem from her Indian ancestry. For instance, a circular work is like a “never ending story”. It is the continuity between days and nights. In a composition in two tones, one moves from a playful and joyful center till you slowly reach the peaceful and resting edges. Another work shows a magical dream like river which gently sweeps over as you sleep, while the tree of life is a chimerical image of a woman and tree.
Artist’s thoughts: My training in architecture was very important. It is where all started. I discovered drawing and also that I didn’t want my creativity limited. Still architecture has a massive influence in the way I build my composition. I stay in France and I believe that also makes a real difference for my work. I work with a lot of detail and pattern and that can be linked to Indian miniatures. I think I’m curious. I like to be surprised by unexpected things. All those experiences are getting melted in my work.
Where: Shridharani Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangam, from November 3 to November 14. The show continues at Gallerie Ganesha, E-557, Greater Kailash-II, from November 16 to December 7.