DEEPTI Naval’s present show of paintings ‘Reflections’ at the Jehangir Art Gallery in a way marks a fruitful culmination of her creative pursuits.

The visual mode of oil and canvas is no new medium of expression for this cinema and television star, poet and a future tele-serial producer and director. It is a medium that held sway ever since she graduated in art and painting from the Hunter College of the City University, of NewYork.

However,” as a child I was hell-bent on becoming an actress,” she reminisces, and it was this urge that saw her on screen in a set of unvarying roles, on her return to Bollywood from New York.

Nevertheless, whenever she wasn’t facing the whirr of cameras, paint and oils on canvas or writing poems provided the mandatory lease. “I had this compulsion to express myself and made that space in my writings and paintings. It was just a dire need to express myself and not any frivolous dabbling,” she accentuates the point.

Lamha lamha (moment to moment) her book of poems published a few years ago is now in its eighth edition. Writing Hindi poetry she claims was the outcome of “this great search for identity. I chose to write in Hindi because it meant asserting an identity that was at that time in that situation of great importance to me.”

A certain sense of solicitude of apocalypse and melancholic uncertainty hovers over her works, despite the familiarity of the oeuvre, in the style of the image. While her paintings reveal her talent, a platitudinous impression emerges in the recall of a host of European masters.

Van Gogh is simulated with hallucinatory frenetic rhythms of colour in several works; like for instance ‘The Street Lamp’.

Modigliani called in the distinct flowing elongated sculptural works like the twin bodied woman that Naval explains is herself and the distinguished actress Smita Patil. Picasso in the straight realistic still-life’s.

Narcissism rears its head in the near half-dozen self portraits and as protagonist too, in the other works, possess visages that closely resemble the artist. Like the painting of the pregnant nun. To justify any amazement at this work, Naval says, “It is about the contradictions we all have in our personality. The conflict - wanting to be one thing and on the contrary to be something opposite to that at the same time..” The nun she perceives perhaps comes from her childhood spend in a convent school. “To me they seemed so mysterious, so elusive."

Stylistically, the Italian painter, sculptor and draftsman Amedeo Modigliani is imitated in this work. “My style is really based on my life-style,” she says, deferring any acknowledgement to the obvious influences. However, “I like Van Gogh, Picasso, Munch, Gaugin and Shergil,” she admits.

Deepti Naval entered the fray of the Indian film industry with her first fil Ek Bar Phir by Vinod Pande, a success that led to her meteoric rise in the industry. After several hits like Hum Paanch, Shriman Shrimati, etc she became a star.

Presently Naval is all set with the tele-serial to go on air some-time in early September this year. Thodasa Aasman has three woman protagonists who are individually going through crucial stages of their lives. A situation is soon created when they meet and the interaction has a reflection on their lives.

“The entire experience of scripting and directing it, she claims has given her “entire freedom of expression.” She concludes, “I’m finally living life on own terms.”

A large red painting ‘Three women hold the sky’ inspired from John Devraj’s bronze sculpture simulating the sculptor’s work as if transcribed in the two-dimensional, that is part of the show is the iconic representation of Thodasa Aasman.