The 'Other Art' of Vallery Puri
by Srimati Lal
Artist, Writer, Columnist & Curator
by Suneet Chopra,
Art Critic, Writer
Right on Course
by Keshav Malik
Sensual Strokes, Manjula Narayan, India, Sep 09, 2011
......Walk into the Quill and Canvas gallery at South Point mall, which is currently exhibiting the works of artist Vallery Puri, and you are transported into a world of thoughtful doe eyed women clutching blossoms that speak to the viewer of raw fecundity and of the interconnectedness of the human and the natural worlds.
At first sight, Puri’s canvases seem to be inspired by a combination of the wild anarchy of Henri Rousseau, the energetic brush strokes of Vincent Van Gogh, and the symbolism of Frida Kahlo. They are all that but have other secret sides to them too. They speak of bonds: bonds between partners, between mother and child, between man and beast, and between nature and humankind.
Take for instance, Visitors on the Wall that features two lizards and a woman with flowers in her hair. The colours in this oil painting swirl and seduce, they invite you to examine the work minutely, to look at the green and red blossoms, to marvel at the visitors of the title, the red lizards, who stand transfixed against a swirling ochre wall, and to stare at the black and white tiles on the floor. It draws you in.
And that’s the strength of Vallery Puri’s largely figurative work. It compels you to wonder about the connections between the people in the paintings, to think about that man with his arm around his woman as they stare at a crescent moon. You wonder about that couple, you think you might even ‘know’ them.
In Naked, a woman looks at a tree outside her window as she sits on an exquisite bedspread, her nakedness covered by a diaphanous voile dupatta. The figure is at once sensual and beyond sensuality, knowing and innocent.
Puri uses thick brushstrokes and scores her work with striations that give it texture and infuses even paintings like Asleep, which features the somnolent figures of a mother and a daughter, with a sense of life, of energy.
It’s evident that Vallery Puri thinks deeply and without cynicism about relationships of every sort -- those shared with family and friends and with the macrocosm. So, while her work is infused with tenderness and hope, there is also a hint of mourning in paintings like Birds and Bunders in Banyan Branches for the rapidly degrading environment, for the loss of a natural world, the disappearance of a once pristine Eden.
Puri’s achievement lies in that she succeeds in making the viewer think too.
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
...... The art connoisseurs were left thinking at Vallery Puri's latest art exhibition. Her thought provoking works were inspired by the rate of forest felling... The paintings had a very clear message, which clicked with everyone and not with art-lovers alone......
...... Her works are strongly influenced by nature. The emotions spill out on her canvases in a form that is figurative and descriptive, engaging viewers in myriad ways. Every painting has its own story to tell and a different one for each of the viewers who relate in their own personal way to what they see.......
OCT 1999 ---- by Sangeeta Chandran
The first thing that strikes you when you meet Vallery Puri is her colourful personality, sheer vibrancy and zest for life. Not surprisingly she says, ‘My moods and my whole being has always reacted to colour from the time I can remember. I feel colours, whether it is wearing them or splashing them on canvas’. A love for art, be it painting, music or dance runs in the family and is in her genes. She spent about ten years jetting around the world as an air hostess during which time she didn’t touch a paint brush. When she started painting again, she began with pen and ink and one acrylic shade, gold or copper and progressed on to acrylics on canvas. “ I paint the entire canvas in white first and give design and detail with the back tip of my brush. The acrylic dries very fast and the pattern must be created before it dries. The next step is to layer the white with colours, usually bright and vibrant, after which she covers the whole painting with dark brown or black. She then buffs the painting with a wet rag and ‘massages the painting to life”. The painting now comes alive with shades, lights, and highlights. The effect of this technique is to give the painting an almost antique appearance…..
1998 --- Women’s day March 10th ---- by Gitanjali Rao
“Vallery Puri’s works which present fascinating windows to the woman’s world, are rendered in well controlled line work, and rich colours on paper. In a painting titled "Hukka" a man draws on his hukka, as he watches a girl dancing. But the dancer's head has gone out of the upper edge of the painting, so that we only have the body. Vallery raises questions and does not provide any definite answer. The missing head could symbolize the man’s interest in the woman’s body and his lack of awareness of her mental capabilities. Or it could be, as Vallery explains that the girl is moving so fast that she moved out before I could capture her entirely…….”
-------The profusion of colours, the use of both sides of her brush and the essence captured, made it a complete feast for the senses……………
‘….the first thing that struck us were the vibrant strokes of hues that intermingled with Vallery’s trademark earth tones…..’
……For almost all the 36 paintings at the showing, she has worked with acrylic paints, water proof inks on paper. Other than the sheer brilliance of the intricate lines and borders that make up her paintings, what makes them stand apart are the earthy tones used, like ochre, mustard, olive green and so on……. To make them visually soothing to the eye’
Dec 13th 1997 by Rahul Chandavarkar
The most striking feature is the powerful sensuality that leaps out from the exhibits. The women are attractive, sensual with hour glass figures and large expressive eyes. The men have been portrayed as being macho, with large twirling moushtaches………….
by Samvit Rawal------1997
‘With her recent show at the Holiday Inn being a success, she has already carved a niche for herself in the field of art. Her paintings have the vivacity that is visible in Vallery. The paintings are more of an autobiographical sojourn, characterized by a vibrancy not usually seen in first time exhibitions. There are two things that attracts you to Vallery----------her genuineness, and her style of painting which is exquisite in itself….”