A series of 17 paintings stand testimony to the profound influence actor Anupam Kher has had on artist Geeta Dass. The paintings, depicting the highs and lows of Kher’s life, fulfilled a life long desire of the artist to translate her deep respect for the actor in a way she knows best.
A product of Lucknow School of Art, Geeta Dass is known for her bold and strong strokes on canvas. Originally from Kashmir, she has witnessed a lot of emotional upheavals in her life that form the basis of her artwork. “I paint human emotions as realistically as my skill allows me to,” says Dass. “This is the first time I have used a living person as inspiration for my work.”Growing in awe
The artist has known Anupam Kher since back when she was a student, meeting the actor on and off over the years, and growing in her awe over the character of the man. She has watched the play on the actors’ life, Kuch Bhi Ho Sakta Hai, more than once, emphasizing on the impact it had on her as she sat in the audience.
“He has taken all the negatives in his life and fought them like a tiger,” she says. “He is a fine and noble soul and I wanted to depict him in a way that even the common man can understand the greatness behind his life.”
The paintings are the artist’s own interpretation of the various phases of the actor’s personal as well as professional life. “When I came to know that the play had inspired Geeta Dass to paint an entire series on it, I was simply amazed,” says Kher. “Her choice of highpoints in my life cannot be faulted and her interpretations are really accurate.”
One of the paintings shows Anupam Kher standing next to a bed of flowers with a big, bright sun shining down on his face. The backdrop behind him though is completely dark. The focus of the painting is as Kher emphasizes in the play, ‘A bend in the road is not the end of the road.’ Says Geeta, “It shows how on overcoming darkness there is always light. The soul is immortal and there is never death, only something better.”