7X7A4408Beer, gold and reds came together for an aperitivo at ITC Maurya Sheraton, Delhi

words: Ambica Gulati

Champagne, wine and art have had a long association. But Italy, with its panache for style, has connected the creative spark with beer. Premium Italian beer brand Peroni Nastro Azzurro recently hosted Peroni Aperitivo with the glitterati at Delhi. Bottled in Aurangabad, Maharashtra, and marketed by SABMiller India, Peroni is comparatively a light but expensive beer.

Currently, Peroni’s markets include the UK, USA, Australia, South Africa, Canada, India, Russia, Colombia, France, Spain, Japan, Hong Kong, Dubai and of course its home country Italy. But the beer seems to be most preferred in the UK, as I was told.

Peroni and fashion are going to be statement and it will find its way into the glasses of many private and elite parties and some high end fashion shows. The brand promises to deliver the same quality and taste as Peroni found abroad and has plans of educating more people on beer. It will be available in the major metros and has trained bar tenders on how to serve Peroni.

7X7A4222Along the poolside were lined paintings in bright golds and reds by Italian painter and sculptor Shola Carletti. Downing the calzone and nachos with Peroni, I came to know that Carletti lives in Pune, drives a Vespa scooter and manages to speak some Hindi to buy her veggies and live a peaceful life by the river. Her works are found in national and international galleries. She works with interior designers too. Excerpts from our conversation:Shola Carletti

What is the USP of your paintings?
I tried a lot of techniques before nailing down this one. What goes into this medium is my secret. This is a result of all the mistakes I made.

Which Indian artists do you like?
MF Husain. When I entered the hotel and saw the artworks and the lobby, I was so impressed.

What about Italian artists?
Around 70 per cent of the art across the world has its roots in Italy.

What inspires you?
Everything. I live by the river and wake up to the sounds of chirping birds and cool breeze. I believe in good omens and even had an exhibition titled Good Omens which included birds.

What expresses your works best?
Emotions, my paintings are an explosion of emotions. For instance, my mother passed way a few years back and I felt so hopeless at that time. So I gave expression o that through an exhibition titled Gravity which expressed the intensity of these feelings.

Which is your favourite colour?
Gold! It shines and glitters and makes one happy. Divine is the gold which is everywhere, our energy which creates the paintings.

Do you source your materials from India or abroad?
Partly from India and partly abroad.

What do you find nice about India and art?
Good artists are everywhere. We just need to be more sensitive to art. I find a lot of Bollywood here but not enough about art to read. India is full of contradictions and different realities exist together. There is a different beauty and gentleness in this country.

What does the future hold? Are you going to be in India forever?
Forever is too difficult to say. But I am going to hold an exhibition at Mumbai in December 2015. I like to work with concepts, give a title for my exhibition and then do my work.