Finally my internet is sorted and I can get back to writing here! 🙂
Above- ‘Aphrodite in love’ (acrylics on canvas)
Finished this painting on monday, she’s been haunting me since quite some time now! Actually I’d done a practice sketch of it ages back on a small sheet of oil paper and I had then thought I shall make her on a big canvas soon but my stupid job (which you now know I have quit) was killing all the creativity and energy I had left in me! Anyway, I had copied the image from it’s bronze head picture from a mythology book. I had bought the book from a second hand book seller on the banks of the river Thames, ‘Encyclopedia of World Mythology’- foreword by Rex Warner. I remember seeing a cast of the bronze head of Aphrodite in the British Museum shop, someday I will buy it- when my paintings generate enough revenue! 😉
Mythology has fascinated me to a certian extent, probably by watching TV serials on Indian myths on sunday mornings as a child, or probably the art history lessons taught in JJ (most of my batch mates slept during the lectures!). 🙂 Or, maybe deep down I would like to create my own ‘mythological’ world where I have super natural powers, revealing my superhuman acts to the big bad world with whom I shall take revenge and then achieve rank and be paid homage!!! Yes, I shall keep dreaming on…
For the Greeks, mythos meant ‘fable’, ‘tale’, ‘talk’, ‘speech’, but finally came to denote ‘what cannot really exist’. (reference from the book).
The Egyptian gods and goddesses, the myths of ancient Rome and Greece and now reading this book at lesiure, I realize Europe (Scandinavain countries) too had their own mythical world and here I am in England today, famous for it’s celtic stories of King Arthur and the Holy Grail legends… fascinating!!
It is interesting to see that the creation of the world and the origin of mankind is common to so many myths, across different cultures. The myths are sometimes regarded as sacred stories and many legends and folk tales will talk about heroic deeds of the characters, the good defeating the evil, evil in the form of demon… common themes for the Hindi film industry, the ‘demon’ becomes the villian or a criminal… Jai/Veeru versus Gabbar Singh! 😉
Artists have always tried to portray mythology in their works… in ancient Egypt, the sun god ‘Ra’ portrayed by a falcon head and a sun disk and in Roman myths, ‘Apollo’ is the sun god, portrayed sometimes with a lyre, because he was also the god of music- Jack of all trades, eh? 🙂
A fine example of mythology in art, Botticelli’s, ‘Birth of Venus’-
The goddess of love, Venus emerging from the sea in a shell on the sea shore… a certain delicacy, light and airy quality to this work- will always remain a favourite!
Coming to my Aphrodite- she was the ancient Greek goddess of love, beauty, generation and fertility. She was also considered the divine patron of marriage and figures in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey. The half broken bronze head that I copied this image from is beautiful but I feel somehow doesn’t give justice to the qualities Aphrodite was known for hence my vision of ‘Aphrodite in love’, as seen above- the joy of love with a rose in her hair but at the same time the sadness it brings portrayed by her melting face… the bright background for the passion and the small patterns in crimson/brown symbolizing marriage (traditional henna motifs on a South Asian’s bride’s hands).
The practice sketch below, oils on paper-
Will probably consider putting ‘Aphrodite in love’ for the Brick Lane gallery exhibition in August… hmmm, let’s see!