Why some artistic connections transcend decades and centuries?

As an artist, I connect with many artists spread across time and space. I’ve loved and admired the works of Claude Monet, James C. Christensen, James Bama, Norman Rockwell, Salvador Dali. Among the Indian Masters my favorites include M.F. Hussein and Satish Gujral. Among the artists of today, I admire the works of Arzan Khambatta, Amit Shrivastava, and Ram Krishna Paul. What I feel for the works of each of these artists is different – because their works are different – Each of these artists has a characteristic flourish – something that makes their work different from that of others but adds a definition to their own.

But with Monet, I go beyond loving his works. I find dozens of delicate connections between the artist that he was and the artist that I am.

Claude Monet - An oil portrait of the artist and his life by Indian Contemporary Artist Shafali R. Anand

Portrait of Claude Monet (2022) 2.5 ft x 3 ft, Oil on Canvas. Artist: Shafali R. Anand


The more I read about his life, the more I wanted to view his works. This constant back and forth made me walk alongside him in my imagination, letting me feel an impression of what he felt when he painted. My life hasn’t been a bed of roses; neither was his. He had his secrets, I have mine. Everything doesn’t find its way into paintings – but somethings do. They might not scream at you, but they sit at the edges, showing up only when light touches it at a rare angle.

The picture that became the basis of this painting can be seen on Wikipedia. It’s a black and white photograph – and not a very high-res one…so the lines and the colors of his face came from my imagination – from those imaginary walks I took in his garden…the colors of heaven reflecting off his skin.

I hope that this portrait will travel to all my solo-shows with me. (It should, as I’ve marked it “Not for Sale.”)