Glimpses of India – Twenty years of wandering by a Firanghi

A painting exhibition by Michel Testard
Bikaner House, New Delhi
Thursday, May 17th to Sunday, May 27th 2018
Timings : 10.30am to 6.30pm

Trained in the elite Ponts et Chaussées engineering school (Paris) with a subsequent MBA at INSEAD, Michel Testard was not destined to remain an international management consultant. India cut across his path in 2000 and became his ‘Samadhi’, transforming him from a business advisor to a loving painter of India.

A natural virtuoso in sketching, which he has practiced from an early age, Michel needed something more to channel his talent and focus his imagination. India’s powerful, diverse, complex, mysterious world inspired him to deepen his talent and focus his imagination through a twenty years journey.

Everything in India fascinates Michel….. India of the past with its forts, havelis and ruins and the names of the forts which are so intriguing (Golconda, Mehrangarh, Bala Hissar) have evoked to the European mind like the ‘Desert of the Tartars’ after Dino Buzzati’s novel……Modern India and urban India with its bustling streets, crumbling buildings and the hopeful/scary dream of smart or ma(d)xima cities……the people of India, so diverse, colourful, human and wise … and the musicians of India, the extraordinary sitarists or tabla maestros whom he happened to meet through his own journey, learning the sitar. To these, Michel adds travel sketches or fairy landscapes of rural India and also funny cartoons of travel or east/west metaphors.

To the people of India, Michel Testard offers impressions, glimpses of Indian subjects and themes that perhaps they do not see that way. To Europeans, Michel Testard suggests a couple of keys to understand the fascination that India exerts on Western imagination.

From small to middle and large formats, Michel deploys a range of techniques: pencil, charcoal, wash, water colour, acrylic, oil, collage. Even though Michel claims he is self-taught in painting, one can notice the multiple influences on his work. They range from the French cartoonists of his youth (Wolinski, Reiser, Mordillo) to the great names of XXth century Art like Braque, Chirico, Giacometti, Duffy and Nicolas de Stael.

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