Friday, May 19, 2017

The Saint of Fertility

Work by artist KT Mathai 

As MathaiMathai Kt has not told me anything about this exquisite painting done as a part of the LKA camp recently held in Derhadun, let me call it 'the Fertility Saint'. Done in acrylic on 4'x5' canvas, this is one of the twin paintings about the other I would write later. Reminding the viewer of the Rajput miniature traditions and also the famous Abhisarika Nayika painting/s, this has two central figures: a Sufi like Saint and a tree with buds about to be burst into blossoms. This Saint figure started appearing in Mathai's works after his Clown series and He is a stand in presence for all saints who are dead, living and yet to be born. The cloud is at once a reality and metaphor; it reflects the tonsured hill, together making an hour glass image to represent our losing time. The artist reminds us of the early atrocities done by us against the earth, which was a predominant theme in his works earlier. But there is hope. Pink of the saintly garb shows the femininity and fertility. Lo! Wherever he has passed is now budding to hues and life. The grey of the future would turn colourful as the Saint walks into it. Mathai resonates kumaranasan: do not be inert in meditation. Come, we need more like your here for this earth.

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