While Madame Tussauds in London is preparing to unveil the wax statue of Sachin Tendulkar,at Triveni Kala Sangam in Delhi the master blaster attains the status of a demigod on silk. Jaipur-based artists have dressed him not in the blue India tee,but as Hanuman,with an MRF bat in hand. Sachin is the new Hanuman for some, says Gautam Bhatia. The architect did not paint the oil on silk,but was involved in its conceptualisation,as he spent hours with traditional artists who gave Tendulkar the mythological avatar.
At Bhatias Gulmohar Park studio,he worked alongside graphic artist Orijit Sen and over 20 traditional artists from Bihar,West Bengal,Delhi and Rajasthan. The aim was to get the traditional artists to depict modern lifestyle and themes instead of folk and epic tales that they have painted for several years, says Bhatia,as he explains the aim of the collaborative arts project Desh Ki Awaaz that was initiated in December 2004.
Now,the outcome is on display at Shridharani Gallery,Triveni Kala Sangam. The familiar faces in the artwork include Railways Minister Lalu Prasad heading towards Rashtrapati Bhavan in an oil on silk (above),and Osama Bin Laden with Saddam Hussain in his heart. Depicting political corruption is a watercolour on wood MP to Manure that asserts that corrupt ministers deserve to be converted into manure,and the terror threat has gunmen protecting a prayer hall in a watercolour on paper called Prayer. There is some black humour but the aim is to depict reality. These are issues that concern us, says Bhatia.
While the exhibition will travel to Mumbai and Bangalore,also on the anvil,as part of the project,is an animation film by Sen,Carnama,which will depict the journey of a white Ambassador car. It is a symbol of power and authority. The fictional narrative will take off from political and social events, says Bhatia.
The exhibition at Shridharani Gallery is on from March 9 to 19