Lord Krishna becomes an artist’s muse

by Team ACF
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What: When Krishna is your muse, the art that captures the myriad nuances of this blue-skinned deity is bound to be both enigmatic and spiritual. Inspired by the Srinathji form of Krishna in Nathdwara, Rajasthan, Ajmer-based artist Ashok Hazra is showing a solo show of paintings titled Krishna – The Enigma.
Where: The exhibition can be viewed at Gallerie Ganesha, E-557, Greater Kailash II, New Delhi from March 23 to April 18, 2018, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Artist’s take: I am deeply fascinated by Krishna, in whom I find great relevance for even the contemporary world. Krishna’s flexibility, adaptability, statesmanship and courage in the face of any challenge inspired me both as a person and as an artist.
What inspired him: Hazra discovered his love for the dark-colored God during one of his visits to Ramkrishna Mission in Paharganj, New Delhi, just as he was himself struggling to cope with the challenges of making ends meet during his college life. “I have been supporting myself since I was in Class 9,” reveals Hazra, who studied BFA at Delhi College of Art, “my elder brother Dilip Hazra was also an artist but he could hardly paint because he was in a government job. I did not want to be restricted by bureaucratic hassles so I moved to Ajmer to teach art at Mayo College.” Hazra was at Mayo from 1977 to 2008.
Myriad hues: Before Hazra began painting Krishna (one of his earlier series was about Krishna’s playfulness as a flute player), he won great acclaim for his work on Fantasy (in which he tried to express and give form to the dreams and visions of his youth), and the Clown series which poignantly told the hidden stories behind a clown’s life. In this series, he uses the subtle shades of acrylic to recreate the dark jambul coloured icon, surrounded with cows gazing at him with soulful eyes. These paintings have a calming effect on the mind and soul. The rhythmic brush strokes, the forms and textures, the lines and dots and the layering of colours are all reflective of Hazra’s connect with the god himself. Each frame shows the immense soul searching which has gone into giving a body to the enigma of a God.

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