They came they saw and he conquered. Artist Bhuwan Silhare, with his timeless works on Mumbai captured many a heart on August 16 at Jahangir Art Gallery. With guests of the likes of Naved Aslam of Once Upon a Time in Mumbai, writer-director Manish Gupta who penned Mumbai-centric films like Sarkar, D and Stoneman Murders, the exhibition had a Mumbai tone to it even in terms of guests. Other than actor Naved Aslam and wirter-director Manish Gupta, Sufi singer Sahil Multy Khan, model-actors Rufe Khan and Ashish Sharma, Parvez Damania, director Jayant Gilatar, model Aarti Trivedi, artists Prafulla Dahanukar, Prithvi Soni, Rashmi Pitre, Gautam Patole, Amisha Mehta, Daxa Khandwala, Varsha Vyas, Sunita Acharya, Sonalli Iyengar, Rupali Madan, curator Sunil Chauhan, gallerist Bharat Patel among others graced the exhibition.
Manish Gupta avered that “these Victorian gothic structures on Bhuwan’s canvas makes me feel as though I am watching images of my own film that have largely been Mumbai-centric,” while sufi singer Sahil Multy Khan said that “I am drawn by each pice of wrok. The dimension in some of Bhuwan Silhare’s works make them leap out of the canvas, while other invite you to walk into a painting. At this moment, I wish I had the magical powers to do just that!”
Bhuwan however is humility personified. Says he unfazed by the compliments, “I feel touched that my tribute to Mumbai is appreciated. Mumbai has always been a city that has absorbed newer influences and always retained its own. No one has ever been able to shake Mumbai’s spirit of resurrecting itself and remerge from each crisis as only this metrop can. I want to capture the myriad facets of the city through my works.”
Mumbai 24×7 by Bhuwan makes the maximum city come alive on canvas with some unforgettable images of major city landmarks like the CST station, Flora Fountain, Crawford Market, The Gateway of India and other such well known areas. What is remarkable about the works is the manner in which the painter has captured the city’s major thoroughfares during the early rush hour and in the evenings, with the play of light over the heritage buildings making them look even more enchanting. Bhuwan exquisite brush strokes make even the most mundane scenes of a crowded, rain-drenched road full of traffic look eternally romantic. More importantly, the easy familiarity of the well-known city locations and their beauty renews the rapidly diminishing feeling of comfort and pride among city-dwellers.
Bhuwan is as unique as his art and the city itself. Just like a typical Mumbaikar, Bhuwan is an adept at multi-tasking, deftly balancing two parallel professions – that of a pragmatic corporate executive during office hours and an imaginative painter in the evenings and on weekends. Bhuwan, who travels daily between Thane and CST, is besotted by the city heritage landmarks.
“These great pieces of architecture, the beautiful thoroughfares and the sheer buzz of activity that never stops – Mumbai will never cease to fascinate me,” says Bhuwan. “The heritage structures are special because every time you observe them closely, you find something new that you hadn’t noticed before. I’ve tried to capture all this beauty in my paintings,” he adds.
The artist has been feted by organizations as diverse as the National Environmental and Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) in Nagpur and the Bombay Art Society. Just like hundreds of his art-loving friends, Bhuwan, originally from Gondia, is also eagerly awaiting the week during which he will actually display his love for his favourite city in all its glory.