In Praise of Paint

Shefali has won several awards, in 2016, at Dubai International Art Symposium (DIAS), Rashid Centre in Dubai, under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Jumaa Bin Maktoum Bin Jumaa Al Maktoum. She has been presenting her artwork at the IVEI Art Competition “Discover yourself” and been a member of the jury panel of Sharjah International Biennial for Children ́s Arts. Her work has been displayed on many exhibitions in Dubai: The Big Picture 2016, Pro Art Gallery, Dubai | World Art Dubai, Gallery Art Zest, Dubai/London | Sharjah Cultural Centre, UAE | Dubai International Art Centre, Gallery 76, Dubai | 2nd Edition of Artistic Retreat Cultural Oman-UAE, Abu Dhabi | Danish Embassy, Abu Dhabi | Art Fair Dubai. She is currently represented by the International Gallery Carré d ́artistes in New York, Amsterdam, Marseille, Aix-en Provence and now also in Barcelona.


No one can detach an artist from his/her art specially when it comes to Shefali Ranthe. Bright colours, vivid hues, strong tones and spontaneous brush strokes are merely manifestation and reflection of her personality. Her personality, which appears exuberant, extravagant and exciting on the surface, in reality she is serious, sober and sombre.


Shefali Ranthe in her work reflects upon greater issues of life, memory, and loss in art, incorporating references to universal existence and universal aesthetics. Her division of space into images, textures and tones, is an attempt to create a parallel world, in which it moves as freely as one frequents the realm of imagination, fantasy and dreams. In fact in her canvases reality and fantasy are blended to construct a unique scenario that is personal for the painter, but is still accessible to outside viewers.


Her world is constructed and crowded with birds, beasts, faces, figures, and plants, reminding the primordial period in human history, in which every entity was part of a larger community, which is consisted of living beings, vegetation or non-living objects. So in her art, every aspect of nature becomes alive and assumes an importance through the touch of the painter, who overlaps them in order to shape a complex world.


That world, which has traces outside, and within reality, is a reflection of her inner self. Through her, it maps the personal territory of every living being on this planet. In her work images from her observation and imagination coexist in order to formulate a universe charged by passion, pleasure and love.


Element of passion is the key of decoding her work. The application of paint on her canvases – both smaller and larger scale surfaces – testifies how a painter approaches the subject. For Ranthe, the outer world and usual visuals serve to provide an occasion to explore and express painterly language. Sensitive marks made on tactile surfaces offer a pictorial pleasure unmatched and unseen, except while meeting the artist of these canvases.


Her art is a testimony for establishing and understanding the connection between the maker and her creativity. Not only it’s about how the artist views her painting but as a combination of colours, textures and tones, but more than how she perceives the world around her as a combination of personal and private responses; and interpretations.


Due to these traits and qualities, the art of Shefali Ranthe is important for its cultural, mythological and mystical reasons, but it is also significant due to the artist’s courage to experiment with the form and her command at her chosen visual vocabulary, while turning it into poetry of love and longing.


Quddus Mirza, Pakistan , Art Curator