Monish Bali (Photo | Special Arrangement)
Sometime in 2020, when the world was experiencing some unexpected downtime, Monish Bali discovered the beauty of black and white. One day, while he was idly sitting in his study, he picked up a graphite pencil and some A4-sized papers lying around. After about two hours, he came up with the image of a tiger. “I was skeptical, but when I showed it to his wife, she encouraged me to do more sketches,” says the Delhi-based entrepreneur and former owner of Mount Shivalik Breweries. says.
What started as a one-off, he held a solo exhibition at Bikaner House in Delhi called Charcoal Chronicles: Eyes of the Untamed, an exhibition of over 25 large-scale sketches created over the past few years. did.
This isn't the 56-year-old's first foray into the art world. After turning 50, he unleashed his creative potential and founded the bungalow gallery “El Garbo” in Junpura. There's a little bit of everything, from vintage art to rugs, paintings, sculptures, and even furniture. “I just wanted to do something that would resonate with the viewer,” says Bali. This connection with the viewer is what he strives for in his sketches. Sketches of animals such as tigers, lions, elephants, horses, and gorillas stare at you with shining eyes from large frames. “When I started, I realized there wasn’t enough depth,” he says. Bari quickly focused on what was missing: the eyes. Next, he decided to use acrylic paint to create the eyes, and suddenly the image came to life.
“I watched countless YouTube videos to get the nuances right while sketching. As I was learning the ropes, I started buying art supplies. I also sometimes improvised on my own.” and a self-taught artist, one day stumbled upon his wife's makeup blender as the perfect tool for softening charcoal strokes. “In my horse series, I can't see the individual lines clearly because of this. My wife wasn't too happy about me stealing the blender, but she thought it was perfect for my drawings. I realized that,” he says.
Why focus only on animals? Why not paint human portraits? “Animals are majestic and spectacular. When it comes to humans, we lack that quality,” says the amateur artist. He is currently in talks to hold a solo exhibition at Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand. “I'm really excited and looking forward to seeing it come to life. Just imagine seeing these sketches surrounded by these magnificent beasts,” he says, looking at the canvas of a lion staring off into the distance. say