PaintBrush Art Community’s ‘Retro Revival’ captures catwalk and walls - GulfToday

PaintBrush Art Community’s ‘Retro Revival’ captures catwalk and walls

Retro 1

Eternal Love by Afshan Khan.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

The PaintBrush Art Community (PBAC) inaugurated an international group art exhibition in early June. To end in August and titled Retro Revival, “it was to revive the magic of Paramount Pictures,” says Sonal Purohit, PBAC co-founder. “It is the biggest and most radiant art event that definitely takes art lovers on time travel back to a nostalgic Hollywood retro era,” she adds. Held at Paramount Hotel Midtown Dubai, the inaugural occasion was set alight with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, as the location played host to a mesmerising Retro Fashion Walk to enhance the art. The result was a seamless fusion of cinematic nostalgia and artistic finesse. Under the stewardship of hotel director Nicolas Chalmer, the evening was supported by partners Hozpitality Group, Danube Milano and the House of Creativity. It was a celebration of creativity and style.

Gracing the occasion were luminaries from various walks of life, each adding their individual charm to the vibrant tapestry of the evening. Among the esteemed guests were Mary Cristine, a beacon of health and entrepreneurship; Yakoob Ali, revered advisor to the Maktoum family; Ruby Sajan, representing the illustrious Danube family; and the legendary Sultana Kazim, Global Art Ambassador of UNESCO Club. Adding prestige with their presence were other notable personalities like artists Anjini Prakash Laitu and Atul Panase; Vinod Kumar of Prasar Bharati; and industrialists Alok Bhargava and Tirupat Mehta.


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The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the Retro Fashion Walk, where artist-models strutted down the catwalk, adorned in vintage ensembles that harked back to a golden age of Hollywood glamour. From elegant ball gowns to sharp suits, each outfit exuded an allure that transported the audience to the sophistication and style of a bygone era. Complementing the fashion extravaganza was the art exhibition. It was curated by PBAC, an international collective of over 300 artists founded by Dr. Romit Purohit and Sonal Purohit; the group has earned acclaim for its larger-than-life art events and this exhibition was no exception.

Twenty five international artists from 9 nationalities took viewers on a journey back to the (recent) past. Their names and nations are as follows: Adel Mohammadi and Soosan Ebrahimi (Iran); Afaf Abdullah Ibrahim Alhassar (Saudi Arabia); Ahmed Al Awadhi Rukni (UAE); Afshan Khan, Anjum Daud, Arti Bhatia, Atul Panase, Dr. Anum Ali, Dr. Sangeeta Parashar, Dr. Poonam Chauhan, Mahnaz Rafiq Javid, Prabita Rajesh, Ruchi Arora, Sandeep Soni, Jyoti Sharma, Shereen Abraham, Sonal Purohit, Soobika Fawad and Vishnu Prasad (all from India); Art Keti (Russia); Jaimee Felysee A. Reyes (Philippines); Mussarat Yasmin Abid (Pakistan); Shafiya Aslam Ahmed (Sri Lanka) and Uliana Serdiuk (Ukraine).

Retro 2  Sonal Purohit (left) and Dr. Romit Purohit.

The exhibition showcases an array of artistic expression from this diverse talent. A performance by Ahmed Salahat, beatbox champion, further enhanced the ambience of the stage. Salahat’s rhythmic beats reverberated in the space, infusing even more energy and excitement. Host Prabita Rajesh ensured that guests were entertained and kept engaged, with her championship of the mike. With the exhibition open for visits till August-end, art enthusiasts have ample opportunity to immerse themselves in a captivating showcase of creativity and craftsmanship. As the curtains slowly draw on this event, Paramount Hotel Midtown emerges as a beacon of cultural exchange and artistic expression, embodying the timeless allure of Paramount Movies, the magnificence of Hollywood and the enthusiasm of contemporary artists.

Retro style, says wikipedia, “is imitative or consciously derivative of lifestyles, trends or art forms from history, including in music, modes, fashions, or attitudes.” In popular culture, it adds, the “nostalgia cycle” is typically for the two decades that begin 20–30 years ago. The term “retro” has been in use since 1972 to describe new artifacts that reference modes, motifs, techniques and materials of the past. Many people also use the term to categorise styles that have been created in the past.

To cut the story short, Retro style refers to new things that display characteristics of the past. The English word “retro” derives from the Latin prefix “retro”, meaning backwards, or in past times. In Simulacra and Simulation, French theorist Jean Baudrillard describes “retro” as a “demythologisation of the past.” Most commonly, “retro” is used to describe objects and attitudes from the recent past, wikipedia continues. “It suggests a fundamental shift in the way we relate to the past. Different from more traditional forms of revivalism, “retro” suggests a half ironic, half longing consideration of the recent past; it has been called an “unsentimental nostalgia”, recalling modern forms that are no longer current.

The concept of nostalgia is linked to retro, but the bittersweet desire for things, persons and situations of the past has also an ironic stance in retro style. Retro shows nostalgia with a dose of cynicism and detachment. It is a desire to capture something from the past and evoke nostalgia, perhaps fuelled by dissatisfaction with the present. In fashion, retro clothing refers to garments that replicate and draw inspiration from past styles. Vintage inspired pieces here provide a way for vintage styles and patterns to come back into the fashion of today. Retro fashion style invites you to explore modern interpretations of past trends, vibrant colours, bold patterns and unique silhouettes that capture the essence of bygone eras, while adding a contemporary twist.

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