A well-known art collector and wealthy Mumbai businessman was standing in his orchid gardens in Alibag when he was struck by a desire to paint the flowers for his celebrity-chef wife. Taking out a stylus and his Galaxy Note, Dilip De got to work. It took him a while to understand how to work the stylus and he accidentally deleted several paintings before eventually completing his first ever piece of art. Spurred by this experience, De began to paint on with his device voraciously. Clearly influenced by Picasso, De explains that he studied art both when he was younger and as an art collector, and he has applied his knowledge of art history to his new passion, invoking themes of abstract surrealism and figurative art. Introducing his work, De excitedly explains that his phablet-based art allows him to create whenever and wherever, making art "omnipresent." On August 17th, De’s 24 paintings were shown in an exhibition called Celebration of Love at Jehangir Art Gallery.
After contacting Samsung India to ask if the company knew of other exhibitions of this nature, De partnered with the company for his first exhibition. However dubious a partnership between the shipping tycoon and multibillion dollar company may seem, De’s excitement about his painting is obviously genuine. As an art collector, De explains that he “encouraged both established and emerging artists to... sell their works for the highest prices achievable” because “an artist cannot produce on an empty stomach!” Calling himself a “budding Notebook phone digital artist,” De says he wants to help every unestablished artist in India realise that they can turn their passion into reality, using technology to make art more accessible and affordable. De’s artist statement, along with his background, raise important questions about the art industry and its accessibility, but his simple discovery story and palpable enthusiasm are heartwarming, and his art is thoughtful and multifaceted.
To learn more about Dilip De’s exhibition Celebration of Love, visit the Jehangir Art Gallery website, here.