Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Fasinating Art of Re-creating Photos of Old Hindu Deities

First, there was performance artist Pushpamala N re-creating the familiar Raja Ravi Verma oleograph of goddess Lakshmi to much acclaim.

 Image from here

Photographer Manjari Sharma recently launched an interesting project to do similar work at a much grander scale. I'm not sure if I agree with her statement that there aren't photographs of Hindu deities in India- as far as I remember most homes have/ had multiple! But reiterate, interesting project nevertheless.


Shweta said...

Very interesting post. :)

Anonymous said...

Okay this video is odd on many levels. Many Hindi/Tamil/Telugu/Kannada movies have shown Gods with a human face and there have been hoardings of them all over. This may be new to people who are born and brought up here but not to those to who are from India.
The reason we do NOT keep a photograph of a human being as one of the Gods, is precisely because as Hindus we believe that each and every one of us IS a rebirth of a God or Goddess. We are to treat each human being as if they are God on this earth. The same reason we name our children after Gods or their characteristics. So by putting a face to a God in our home we may be negating the truth that all are just Gods in rebirth.
In Nepal we have Living Goddesses. Every few years they are chosen after rigorous effort. So, yes there are pictures of Maa Kaali as a Goddess.
Coming from Madras, I have seen MGR, Rajanikanth et al in forms of divine postures ;). I am not particularly enamored by this art. I did not care too much when Ravi Varma was re-created by modern artists. Fine on a saree pallu. It looks silly to us, but heck what do I know about modern art? If people are willing to pay for it, then I guess go for it?


Sound Horn Please said...

My3: Some passionate viewpoints here :) Like I said- I found her statements hard to digest too. But she did manage to raise more than her estimated target capital on Kickstarter. So, I think she has managed to capture the imagination of a slice of the population. I guess, it's all about how she has packaged an old concept.

Disagree with you on a point- I'm not a fan of the calendar lakshmis printed on saree pallus- I think they look tacky, and I'm using euphemisms here!

Chandan said...

I was so waiting for somebody to talk about a comparison!!
I think, the two ladies are dappling with a similar idea at one level, however Pushpmala N is clearly the heavy weight here, with a deeper set of issues and ides her photography explores.. whereas one can see how Manjari's work will be liked by a wider set. No judgements made here, I just think Pushpmala's work will last longer.
Lovely post, abs amazing blog! always a delight to hangout with u here :)!

Chandan said...

And ofcourse , so long as Calendar Laxmi's go, they have ventured farther than mere saree borders, in very many unsavoury ways ! Toatally see where you are coming from, Kitsch of a particular kind is all well in so far as celebration of Indian street culture goes, only I feel it is a tad to over done these days...