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Art and thoughts between the lines

A book titled ‘Vamona Navelcar – Art and Reflections’, containing a collection of selected paintings and creativity was recently released. The book has been published by Navelcar’s friend and admirer, V B Prabhu Verlekar. NT BUZZ gets more details


As an ardent admirer of artist Vamona Navelcar’s work and his unique style of drawing, chartered accountant, V B Prabhu Verlekar has edited and published a book ‘Vamona Navelcar – Art and Reflections’ as a tribute to the artist. The book is a collection of selected paintings and thoughts on art and life written by Navelcar, thus revealing his mystic personality.

In addition, the book has rare drawings of ‘Essence of Geeta’ and ‘Bramha’ in vibrant luxurious colours drawn on a large canvas which have never been exhibited. It took Verlekar about a year to come up with this book. “Before coming up with this book, I read all the information that has been published on him so far. And since nobody knows about his thoughts I decided to collect some of them on art, life and other matters, which he had written over the years,” says Verlekar adding that though the artist was ailing he was overjoyed to see the book that was released by the artist himself at his home in Pomburpa.

Having known each other for a long time, Verlekar says that though Navelcar is a recluse they somehow share a very close relationship. Recollecting his first meeting with the artist, who is 89-years-old now, Verlekar says: “I met him for the first time through our mutual friend late Pandurang Shankhawalkar about 12 years ago and in a way it is inexplicable that we instantly developed a special bond which continues till today. Navelcar presented me with a copy of his UNICEF postcard of ‘Mother and Child’. Till then I had never heard of Navelcar, for whom art is at its best when he is in acute pain.” 

Verlekar told the artist about his ignorance of abstract art and his liking for landscape paintings of existing places known to him and asked the artist to do a landscape painting for him. The artist who is known for his artistic techniques in continuous line drawings and black and white paintings and has never made landscape paintings did so for Verlekar. “A few months later, he came to me with a colourful painting of ‘Hotel Republica’, which is situated opposite Old Secretariat and according to Navelcar it has geometry, character and depth,” says Verlekar adding that perhaps ‘Hotel Republica’  is his only landscape painting which exhibits a three-dimensional effect (which is also included in the book).

Apart from his continuous line drawings, he is known for Christian Art. His personal pain, sufferings, and sorrows with its spirituality is reflected in his drawings of Christ in various forms including ‘Last Supper’.

Verlekar considers himself fortunate to own some of Navelcar’s paintings, which to him are nothing short of a treasure. “He is now ageing and ailing but he has promised to draw for me a painting of vibrant riots of colours depicting joy, happiness and festivity symbolising Shigmo,” says Verlekar.

Verlekar is known for his books on commercial tax laws in Goa and after the implementation of GST he released a manual on Goa Goods and Service Tax (GST), law practice and procedures. He has also written ‘A Complete Guide For Senior Citizens For Graceful Living’ wherein the cover shows a caricature of an old man that was done by cartoonist R K Laxman in honour of senior citizens.

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