Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sari Wall Art: Born Free

The theme of "Born Free" is depicted in this mixed media art. The background created using vintage sari fabric on a water color paper painted in shades of yellow evoke the freshness of the open green. It makes a perfect setting for the colorful bird and the lovely butterfly to feel at home and to fly freely without constraints.

The images of the bird and the butterfly are been given a 3-D effect with glazes. I have machine stitched four sides of the watercolor paper and affixed it on a gallery wrapped stretched canvas. I have added filigree embellishments above the artwork on the canvas and have added the words "Born Free" at the bottom.

This mixed media piece is available in my Etsy shop.

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, July 29, 2011

All That is Solid Melts Into Air

It was a rainy day in Miami when we visited the Miami Art Museum (or MAM) for short. We were not allowed to take any photos inside. Without photos or any publicity materials it was hard to remember everything one saw.

What I remember most powerfully is the two-screen video installation of Mark Boulos' "All That is Solid Melts into Air". Boulos' video is a dialectical exposition of the oil fields of Niger delta (exploitation) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange where the oil futures are traded (commodification). The title of the show comes from a passage from Karl Marx's The Communist Manifesto: "All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind". When Marx wrote that two centuries ago the western Europe was being swept into the bourgeois revolution, but, it might as well been a manifesto for the 21st century with the world ever more sharply divided between the haves and the have not, the powerful and the powerless, the rich and the poor, democrats and republicans.

New Sari Art

These sari art are a fusion of design and colors from many saris that I have worn in my adult life.

This art is composed of two layers. The smaller central piece is an embroidered leaf appliqued on to painted watercolor background. This smaller piece is then adhered to a larger background which has been first painted with a contrasting watercolor and enhanced with delicate vine like patterns. The overall effect of the colors and the patterns is striking and pleasing at the same time.

The art is mounted on a framed back stapled canvas and can be hung just as is (staples will not show).

The sari which measures approx. 7" by 8 " is mounted on an 8x10 canvas.

Thanks for visiting.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Enshrined: Women of Power

I am reposting this post for Seth Apter's Buried Treasure 2011. Enjoy.

In a place where sex-selective abortions are a fact of life across all segments of society, the latest general elections in India has produced four female chief ministers governing over a combined population of 400 million people. As if that is not enough, an Italian-born woman is the head of the historic party that led India's independence movement, the President of India ( non-elective position) is a woman and so is the speaker of the Indian parliament. Middle aged or older, widowed, single, never married or "married" to a woman, these top-dog politicians are not hot babes. (They will never make it to the style section of the Huffington Post.) Their ascension to top positions has less to do with gender politics than with the caste politics. Skilled politicians all of them, they can play dirty as well as any of their male counterparts. Yet, their popular nicknames ground them in the typical Indian family structure: one is called "bahu" (daughter-in-law), another is known as "amma" (mother), a couple of them are referred as "didi", "behenji" (sister), yet another is known as "auntieji" (aunt).

The mixed media art above is a tribute to these women as well as to the system that produced these remarkable politicians. Mimicking the grimy, tacky and the garish nature of Indian politics, the background is a wall graffitied with election slogans. Acknowledging the fact that Indians can create a sacred space anywhere, the shrine is a hole in the wall decorated with plastic and paper flower garlands. The image is and could be of any woman seeking political power and the thin screen covering the shrine can be pulled back anytime by her to step up to the podium.

If you are interested in knowing more about these female politicians, here is a link to an excellent article by the Globe Mail of Canada

The fun part is  of doing this piece is that every material used in this art came from the members of the Etsy melange swap (canvas and paints excepted), consisting of images, embellishments, vintage papers, die cuts and scrabble tiles from Artsnark, Whyte, Elenamary, Midwestielady, JBguess, LDphotography. Thanks ladies!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Handmade Journal

I absolutely loved making this journal. The covers were made from Arches 140 lb. watercolor paper dyed into a warm and rich brown using a concentrated solution of tea decoction. A little bit of contrast was created using gesso. The end papers on the inside were from a 1950s history book.  I bound the journal using whip stitch. Apiece of handmade paper made out of plant materials was used as the backing for this image from the Graphics Fairy.  The overall effect is one of warm earthiness.

Thanks for visiting.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

Art and Freedom: Melange July Challenge

A quote from Albert Camus, "Without freedom, no art; art lives only on the restraints it imposes on itself and dies of all others" is used to create this mixed media piece which is a response to Etsy Melange's July Challenge appropriately themed Freedom. The background was created using stamps, acrylic inks and glazing. The quote was handwritten by me and as a final touch I added a Forever sticker from the USPS.  If you look carefully, there is a lot of red, white and blue here but the sentiment expressed in the quote is universal.

Thanks for visiting.