Sunday, July 13, 2008

Ganeshism- A celebration of Lord Ganesh in art

Vinayaki in Silver- Acrylic on wood 82*95cm

Vinayaki in Pink- Acrylic on canvass 46*35cm
Vinayaki in Blue- Acrylic on canvass 46*35cm

Dance of creation- Acrylic on canvass 120*90cm

Sometimes paintings can inherit memories

Vinayaki in Pink-Acrylic on canvass 46*35cm

Art lovers viewing the various forms of Lord Ganesh

Mahen Chanmugam at Barefoot Gallery

American Ambassador Robert Blake viewing Ganeshism

Traditional oil lamp is lit

Mahen Chanmugam's sister Sharmini Boyle lighting the traditional oil lamp

Mahen Chanmugam has been paintining for over thirty five years, and has devoted the last twelve to portraying Lord Ganesh. His art attempts to present the complex symbolism and iconography surrounding Lord Ganesh in a colourful, contemporary form.

With his paintings, Mahen tries to reach back to the past, while looking forward, balancing the challenges between the spirit of modernism and the need to capture the essence of a traditional art form, undiluted.

Drawing inspirations from the mythology and philosophies of Hinduism, his canvases are saturated with intense colour, evocative of the bright powdery pigments that decorate the entrance to Hindu temples. Bright fluorescent pink cells sit alongside lime-green lotus petals and multicoloured Chakras float across saffron skies, with tiny mirrors shimmering around silvery Ganeshes. His forms are uniquely constructed and set in luminous coloured spaces that defy being tied down to any spatial context. The ever present images of the lotus heart and petals splashed across his life-sized canvases act as an eloquent metaphor for the regeneration of the soul.

He has worked with all types of media, having mastered, then abandoned, oil painting for the brilliant hues, he now works on materials are varied as canvas, wood, sackcloth, and even concrete and stone. He currently lives in Sri Lanka with his fiancée and cats amongst the water monitors in Colombo.

Ganeshism- a celebration of Lord Ganesh in art by Mahen Chanmugam was held at Barefoot Gallery in Colombo from May 15th 2008 to June 01st 2008. The unusual exhibition of paintings has drawn a large number of Ganesh devotees and art lovers.


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