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‘No degree can make you a painter’

Despite her impressive lineage, artist Maya Burman asserts the need for hard work and individuality

art and culture Updated: Mar 03, 2011 15:13 IST
Shweta Mehta

Her shows in India are few and one might put up a reasonable argument that Maya Burman’s biggest claim to fame is her lineage. On viewing her paintings, though, and all doubts about her talent are laid to rest.

She admits, “Both my parents are established artists, so people would take it for granted that with my background, I too would take up painting. But this is not something you can just decide to do; there’s no degree that can make you a painter.”

The artist dismisses all comparisons with her illustrious father, Sakti, although they are both known to paint on the same theme – dreams. “I grew up watching him paint, so I’m sure he has influenced me in some way. We discuss our paintings, what we like and don’t like, but eventually we make them the way we want to.”

In the city to display her latest collection of paintings, A Dreamer’s Labyrinth, the evolution of Burman’s technique is there for all to see. As a result of her training as an architect, she is widely known for using black pencils to create fine lines and fluidity in her works.

This time around, vibrant colours have occupied a place of prominence. Burman claims that her works are not always inspired by what she dreams about. “I have the liberty to daydream, but it is my imagination that begins a painting. As I continue, it takes a life of its own and sometimes surprises me.”

Here on, she will proceed to exhibit her collection in Kolkata, but Burman is unsure about what will come next. “This show has been quite an achievement for me because it took over a year to complete. I like taking my time, so right now, my next project is like science fiction for me,” she laughs.

A Dreamer’s Labyrinth is on display at Art Musings Gallery, Colaba, till April 9