The Concealed Nude

My apologies for the long gap between this post and the last one; its fashion season in Delhi and time itself gasps for relief! Anyways, Spring is now in the air, and along with a Saturday afternoon, Art and new found friends, today was quite the perfect cocktail actually. As most of you know, I thoroughly revel in cross pollination of cultures so an afternoon spent with the Arpels was a wonderful time for an introduction to their world. Stephanie Arpels is an artist with her forte being abstract nudes and Francois Arpels, scion of the French jewellery empire Van Cleef & Arpels runs his own Luxury advisory & fund; Together, they also seem to signify the Yin and the Yang of an inspired  existence. Their warm home, which also serves as Stephanie’s studio (and Gallery) is an oasis of creative calm and it gave me great pleasure to view Stephanie’s show of her recent works. India has impacted her in a significant way… the grays and blacks of her Paris expression has made way for her singular and perhaps most important influence in India: Colour! The show moves from a monochromatic palette into muted colours and then into brights finally culminating into Klimt like golds (incidentally also the colour of a major Indian fetish: Gold Jewellery!). Its a fascinating journey and I’ve always found it intriguing to witness how one culture can impact another when it comes to creative expressions…Stephanie’s control over texture and her interpretation of the nude are both laudable, but, ironically, it were the monochromes of ‘The Passion’ and ‘Black & White shading’ and the subdued tones of ‘New York Inspiration 2’ and ‘The Buttocks’ that captivated me. I suppose the unfamiliar is always exciting… Being an Indian, and being surrounded by colour in the work I do, gravitated my attention towards those works that were devoid of it, and I am sure that the opposite would hold true for the west, where Stephanie’s coloured nudes would undoubtedly have the western gaze transfixed with their myriad aura.

Many congratulations Stephanie, on interpreting the nude (and the skyline) in such an interesting manner and a very warm welcome to both of you to your new home, India.

For those of you who may be interested in seeing more, visit… figure it out for yourself whether you wish to be coloured by India or be seduced by the monochromes of Paris.

Copyright: JJ Valaya/ All rights reserved. All images are the sole property of JJ Valaya. No part of this post/publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior permission of JJ Valaya. This applies to all acts of use, in particular such as the reproduction of pictures and text, their performance and demonstration, translation, filming, microfilming, broadcasting, storage and processing in electronic media


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