Woman with an Umbrella in a monochromatic world by F N Souza – 1976
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Woman with an Umbrella in a monochromatic world by F N Souza – 1976

Updated: Apr 5

As I sit here and peer back in time with this creation by F N Souza I cannot stop myself from thinking that all that a man ever sees are reflections of light. Light dances on this plane we call reality, reflects all around and our eyes catch these reflections. As I take into account the light, the reflections, what the human mind percieves, and what is finally created on a canvas there is an unfathomable divide and distance. That distance and that grand divide can never be measured using the tools reality gives us, it can never be measured using our logical ticking minds. For that, one has to let go of his reality, let go of his of understanding of the physical and delve deep into a world unknown and unmanifest.

Looking at this painting the first thing I notice are “the Squares” that form the windows on the houses in the background, they blend and merge into portals to another dimension, a dimension invisible to the naked eye. The windows are infact like endless fractals. It is said that one can only make sense of things when the senses are not overloaded, the same way, these windows make no sense as the squares and the rectangles are laid out in such a way that they defy 3 dimensional geometry and my mind screams out loud each time I look at those surreal and hauntingly beautiful windows. They feel just like standing in between two mirrors and watching the real living proof of infinity and insanity as your eye traces the infinite reflections bouncing between the mirrors.

My mind wanders and asks who lives there in those houses with those interdimensional and fractal windows? Who lives near those paths where under a constant monsoon rain, a barefooted woman silently strolls along a blank and empty road? Which insignificant person lives in those houses which now through this piece of art has become significant for eternity.

As my eyes ponder onto the subject “the women with an umbrella” I notice the wind, which, it seems, moves from right to left, which you can trace from the way her dress blows, the way her umbrella sways, the way a jumbled tuft of hair falls over her face. That is physics but the creative genius of FN Souza exposes itself when you start to notice the lines that trace out the woman’s body with definitive strokes and then go on to become indefinite, without form and flows into undefined scribbles. Those same lines that define her body and hands disappear in a creative trance made of free flowing strokes. It is almost like the painting used the artist to get itself created in a moment of pure genesis.

This painting for me is a depiction of the surreal world we live in. It depicts the duality of nature by showcasing the colourful nature of life in a thoroughly monochromatic setting. It is a piece which will enthral the viewer, the silent observer for decades to come.

#indianart #contemporaryarts #Blackandwhite #NewYork #postindependenceart #FrancisNewtonSouza

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