A fascinating expanse of architectural marvels re-imagined, re-created and re-presented as paintings and evoking a nostalgic aura around Shekhawati havelis of Rajasthan, appears in this new series of canvases by master artist Gopal Swami Khetanchi. The hand drawn hyper-realistic photo-look-alike paintings and the three dimensional installation of a specially sourced and restored door of an old mansion,offer an overview of the grand havelis and their once lively ambience.
The imprints of Khetanchi’s love for the Thar district, its sand dunes and havelis where he was born and brought up, and with the made-up glamour world of Mumbai where the foundations of his artistic career were laid;comes through in this collection, as it looks back to look forward. The havelis re-imagined, renamed and retitled in the these idealistic picture-perfect visuals bring them back to their full glory. They document the grandeur, beauty and appeal of the historic structures currently threatened due to neglect and decay. The paintings of grand havelis rewrite the cultural and social history of the era and articulate the need for preservation and conservation of Shekhawati’s distinctive art, architecture and heritage for posterity and glory.
——-Sushma K. Bahl