Wednesday, May 16, 2012

evocation of shakti plus a portrait of modernity

I made 2 paintings! 1- Parvati. Acrylic Pencil and Oil on wood. The admirable team Viola Von Hell+Ilaria Beltramme brought to life an interesting show of international female tattoo artists, paying a visual homage to the feminine/divine in different cultures. Loretta Leu wrote an interesting introduction on the show catalog, available at Mondo Bizzarro Gallery, Roma. Here is the link: I was assigned Parvati. With great pleasure, through the constant thread of whispers from my fresh memories on India, I made her 2D-alive. Parvati is a complex deity (as any deity in the indian pantheon) involving many different characteristics, depending on her incarnation...on the most basic definition, she is the female half of shiva. They are 2 in 1. Male and Female as a whole. They also exist separately but have a regular sex-life and they are proud parents of Ganesh, little kid-god with a elephant head (another good story, go read something about indian mythology, it's fascinating). They represent family, procreation, creation and the force of life. Shiva is more powerful as a whole deity, but Parvati is eclectic and multitasks her abilities and attitudes in many different specific incarnations of herself..kali, lakshmi, durga, etc. I choose to represent the Shakti in Parvati. Shakti, that seduction of our spine, that tremor streaming from the g-point chakra up to that eye-lined third eye and above; and then back down, bleeding, and eventually breathing new life out of a gravid womb. The feminine force in its most terribly beautiful attributes.I wanted my goddess to be ONE OF US: so there she is, not so much divine, more of a daily moment in a shakti body. The tattoo on her leg is the head of Ganesh, I thought it would be cute for her to have a tattoo dedicated to her baby. On her chest I opted for a fancy script with the Om Namah Shivaya mantra, a tribute to her lover. Brought a crazy golden skirt i purchased in India from a taylor for about 50 cents, out of the closet, and reproduced the fabric pattern...I love that skirt!! I love everything gold and shiny! I thought it would become a nice graphic effect. I adorned her with the beautiful earrings from THAT day in Mamallapuram (only M. knows what I mean, and that's ok). The conch shell is often depicted as one of the sacred tools and objects in Parvati's hands (for many symbolic reasons). Given the resemblance of the conch with a vagina, I though it would fit the theme of Parvati/Shakti. I could represent sexuality and female desire without being too graphic but, i hope, being poetic and evocative. The decision to crop it in such an awkward way and to give it an unusual point of view, came from the experience with a previous old series of paintings that I wanted to evoke in the format. Of course I gave it a golden decorated frame. In the back I wrote a mantra in sanskrit, it blesses and protects marriages and relationships and it is typical in Parvati Temples. Pretty happy with it. 2- A normal life for me, acrylic, collage and pen on illustration board. For the Ladies Ladies!! Show, in Brooklyn (opening may 17). Elvia Iannaccone Gezlev, italian/ny based tattoo artist, organized the second edition of a successful ladies show. A bunch of Tattoo artists on a free theme. I wanted to go for something more graphic, tattoo/poster inspired for this one. A realistic portrait of a modern happy normal family. I had a lot of fu with it. I will soon add photos of the details, I added some sparkly diamonds to enrich the texture. here is a link to the show: Enjoy :)