Saturday, March 22, 2014

आदि लक्ष्मी (ఆదిలక్ష్మి; ಆದಿಲಕ್ಷ್ಮಿ)

Skip Hill

'Tattoos with Chai Oolong Tea'
Acrylic, collage, inks on canvas
12"w x 16'h  ©2014  

When the Hindu god Vishnu incarnated on Earth as the avatars Rama and Krishna, he was joined by his consort, the beautiful Lakshmi, Goddess of wealth, prosperity, good fortune and the embodiment of God's superior feminine energy.
Taking the form of Rama's wife she is 'Sita'. At the same time she is 'Radha', the lover of Krishna.  
This "duality in one" aspect of Lakshmi makes her/them(?) an appealing subject matter for my "As Namoradas" series, where I weave two or more figures into one central iconic image.

Of course, I'm not interested in rendering Lakshmi as she is depicted in the Bhagavad Gita. But I do like the idea of rendering her incarnations Sita and Radha as contemporary, smart, sexy, tattooed women meeting for Maharaja Chai Oolong tea and spicy gossip.

This piece is truly a masala mix of media and methods. 
As I progressed beyond the loose initial drawing, I pulled references and elements from diverse sources for my collage material; a Chinese how-to book of brush painting, a catalog from the Tokyo Museum of Art, a page from a Brazilian newsweekly and a Hindu prayer tract from a local temple.

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