Anjolie Ela Menon has a lot in common with renowned Indian Painter Amrita Sher-Gil. Like Sher-gil, she too was born in a mixed parentage, as a teenager she went to Paris to learn art, pretty much like Amrita Sher-Gil did and most importantly her paintings show the same feminine desire to create that marked Sher-Gil as a painter.
She herself acknowledges the overwhelming presence of Sher-Gil’s works in her psyche. However it is to her credit that she managed to internalize the influences and managed to give them her own interpretations, creating in the process strikingly original works. Her attitude towards art can be best described in her own words- "The connection between the mind, eye and hand guided by emotion and imagination results in the ultimate creation of a work of art."
In the course of her career Anjolie Ela Menon has held over 30 solo exhibitions, culminating in a retrospective exhibition, in 1988. She has also participated in several international group shows. A well-known muralist, she has represented India at the Biennials of Algiers and San Paolo.
Anjolie Ela Menon Paintings
One sees a constant recurrence of human figure in Anjolie Ela Menon’s work. She seems to have generated a special empathy for the people she has put on her canvas. The figures seem to communicate their inner most feelings in her paintings. Sometimes one feels the people she paint will come out and talk, not because they are strikingly life like (which they are not, for Anjolie’s works can hardly be called realistic) but because her paintings communicate emotions that mark human lives.
Apart from Amrita Sher-Gil one can also see the traces of different schools of arts in her paintings. The nudes set amidst a great deal of flora and fauna distinctly shows pre-Raphaelite influence. Some of her works were very European in flavor. She frequently used the color blue in her works, which shows an influence of the Mediterranean Culture. Italian Renaissance painters colored her basic understanding of Paintings and her Virgin Mary and Jesus paintings show a distinct Byzantine influence. Anjolie Ela Menon also admits to have learned a lot from the most prominent figure of Contemporary Indian Painting, M.F. Hussain.
Anjolie ela Menon says, " Creative confidence is the hallmark of a great artist.” and it is that very creative confidence that has made Anjolie the icon that she is today.