Celebrating varied facets of Krishna’s life on canvas

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Coinciding with the festival of Janmashtami, Noida’s Art Life Gallery has organised a group art exhibition of five artists. Titled as “Krishna Damodar”, the show has more than 20 works, all highlighting varied facets of Lord Krishna and his life.

The participating artists are Kalyanmal Sahu, Manish Verma, Madhur Tyagi, H. Rehman and Babu.

The majority of the artworks are by Sahu, all of them are organic colour on cloth. Being a globally acclaimed Picchwai who has been practising this traditional art form for more than two and a half decades, all his works are all centred around Lord Krishna.

Pichhwai are large devotional Hindu painted pictures which depict Lord Krishna and are generally done on cloth. They are created in order to be hung in the Hindu temple of the Pushtimarg devotional tradition, especially the Shrinathji Temple in Nathdwara, Rajasthan which was built around 1672.

Krishna Darbar’ by Kalyanmal Sahu

In “Krishna Darbar”, one sees the God decked in jewellery and surrounded by his devotees in his court. Around the court scene are small pictures of the God’s deity being ardently worshipped by the devotees. In “Srinathji” series, we see Lord Krishna either alone or surrounded by his favourite cows. In every work, Krishna’s face radiates innocence.

Sahu’s “Krishna With Cows” stands apart from his other works. Playing his flute, the Lord is completely encircled by cows, all of whom seem to be in a trance. Sharing her views with India Narrative, Pratibha Agarwal said: “Sahu is a deeply devout artist. He has great reverence for Gwal Bal Gopal, who is the child cowherd. According to Sahu’s interpretation, he feels, all mortals are cows who need to be guided by Krishna the cowherd.”

Krishna with cows’ by Kalyanmal Sahu 

“Nidhi Ban” by Madhur Tyagi is one work which garbs attention not just because of its size but also since it covers so many aspects of life. Lord Krishna is shown playing the flute while Radha is seated on the ground holding the pitcher but her entire attention is directed at Him. All around them are animals and birds – elephant, cows, peacock and fishes – all enraptured by the scene. It makes one feel a part of the picture itself!

“Tyagi painted the surroundings to emphasise the presence of God in every living being whether it is flora or fauna. Also, Nidhi ban is important because it is said that Radha Krishna and their Gopis reside there and come to life at night, therefore, portrayal of such a scene,” observed Agarwal.

Manish Verma’s ‘Krishna Trance’

Exploring completely different dimensions of Radha-Krishna are Manish Verma’s works in which he has portrayed Him as the ultimate lover and a faithful friend. In “Krishna Trance”, Lord Krishna. playing the flute with his eyes closed is completely lost in music. It could also mean that it is the listeners of the flute, who are enchanted by the Lord. In the work “Radha”, Radha’s face is beautiful reflecting innocence, while in “Endless Wait”, has Radha seeking Krishna with her eyes fixed far away trying to search for Him. In “Krishna Sakha”, Lord’s childhood friends, the cowherds can be seen in their traditional attire with a turban tied around their head and holding sticks for guiding the cows and protecting them.

Jugaljodi’ by Garima Rani

Garima Rani’s works all focus on Radha-Krishna yet she gives each of them a distinct and different identity. “Jugaljodi” is indeed exquisite as it shows the faces Radha-Krishna close together and deep in love. In “Radha Love”, the portrayal of the two is completely different. Simple, devoid of any finery yet their bond is reiterated through their eyes’. In “Radhey Krishna”, the two are in different spheres – with Krishna shown as holding the Goverdhan mountain on his finger, while Radha is waiting for his arrival.

Radha Love’ by Garima Rani’

Artist H. Rehman chooses to focus his attention on Radha alone. His “Peacock Love” and “Love Messenger” shows her in a simple tone and style, sharing her feelings, love, loneliness and devotion for Lord Krishna to her companion, the peacock.

The show is on till September 6, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and can be watched on YouTube alsoe

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