Meet Mumbai based Artist Gina Lafont

Gina Lafont is a Mumbai based artist.
Gina Lafont is a Mumbai based artist.

1. Tell us about yourself and your art.

I see myself essentially as a creative person. I’ve had a corporate career in marketing and artist management, and currently own Freebase Entertainment, a creative content company. As for my painting, I see it as an expression of who I am, much like I see marketing as another specific creative expression of who I am. At the moment I’m focusing on color and texture, and generally do a lot nebulous figures

2. Which is your favorite spot in Mumbai and why?

My favorite for a long time, and still remains so, is the Taj Mahal Hotel at Apollo Bunder. To me it’s just steeped in art, and history, and now resilience. [Note from GG: While you visit the Taj Mahal Hotel, go and see the Gateway of India as well.]

3. What’s your favorite restaurant, bar or café in Mumbai?

I absolutely love Gallops at the Race Course. To me it’s by far the prettiest restaurant in the city.

4. What are your tips to explore the Mumbai art scene?

To me, to explore Mumbai is to explore the Mumbai art scene. This city has so much to see, in old and new architecture, neighborhoods, streets, and since it’s such a personal thing there’s something here for everybody. Oddly, the galleries are about the last place I go to to experience the art that I love.

A painting by Gina Lafont
A painting by Gina Lafont

5. Your favorite art gallery, museum or other place of art in the city?

At the risk of sounding macabre, I find the Sewri Christian Cemetery, which is the oldest in the city, to be a fascinating place. It’s a green, lush space in the middle of a bustling city, and it has artists like FN Souza buried there, the architect of Victoria Terminus, the architect who designed the Gateway of India, as well as poets and writers. I could spend an entire day reading the epitaphs, which have so much love and longing, and sometimes just tell arresting stories. To me that cemetery is both an art gallery and a museum.

6. What would you do/see/eat when you have only 48 hours in Mumbai?

Breakfast at Café Leopold — the bullet marks from the shootout are still there and it was prominently featured in “Shantaram’, so it should be of interest to someone new to the city. Lunch at any restaurant at the racecourse — gorgeous view of the track and great food. Dinner at Bade Miyan — spectacular street food and a uniquely Mumbai vibe.

The next day, you can spend a couple of hours antiquing at Chor Bazaar, where you’re guaranteed to find something unusual and exciting. I also recommend going to Mani Bhavan, which is a cottage where Gandhiji lived, it’s pretty amazing.

7. What is your tip for newcomers to the city? How to feel home in Mumbai?

Be brave and jump in…

A painting by Gina Lafont
A painting by Gina Lafont

Check out her website for more details and follow Gina Lafont on Facebook.

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