My Picks from StoryLTD

Rashhi Parekh of Saffronart picks her five favourite pieces being offered for sale in the boutiques and collections on newly launched website, StoryLTD

Mumbai: Launched earlier this week, StoryLTD by Saffronart brings together carefully curated collections of beautiful and significant objects from the past and present. At StoryLTD, you can browse through, learn the nuances of, and acquire some of the most coveted objects – ranging from fine art, antiquities and jewellery, to vintage and designer furniture and unique accessories for the home.

Partnering with some of the most creative artists, designers, collectors, manufacturers and dealers from India and soon, around the globe, StoryLTD offers consumers a unified and convenient shopping experience for objects and collectibles encompassing all styles, designs and budgets.

Here are my five picks from the many beautiful objects available on the website. Not surprisingly, they are all art related!

Maqbool Fida Husain: Eternal Mother

Collection: Serigraphs

M.F. Husain

M.F. Husain, Eternal Mother, Serigraph on paper

The venerated figure of Mother Teresa first appeared in Maqbool Fida Hussain’s art in 1980. Since then he has devoted a number of his works to Mother Teresa, whom he depicts as a faceless entity. This approach underlines his efforts in exploring not just the figure of Mother Teresa, but motherhood in general.

Having had the opportunity to meet Mother Teresa in 1994, he says, “I have tried to capture in my paintings, what her presence meant to the destitute and dying, the light and hope she brought by mere inquiry, by putting her hand over a child abandoned in the street.. That is why I try it again and again, after a gap of time, in a different medium.”

Works like the ‘Eternal Mother’ have been converted into serigraphs by Husain, to make his art more widely accessible. He stated that the idea of creating prints from canvasses was to make his work available to common man and also make his inner psyche available to a larger audience. This painter is distinct and different from most others because he wants to share his paintings. He says that all his life, he has sought just one image – the image of his mother, whom he had never seen. He tried to depict his mother whenever he painted women; that is why he never painted their faces, merely just an outline as shown in this serigraph of the Eternal Mother.

Raja Ravi Varma: Sri Shanmukha Subramaniaswami

Collection: Dressed Oleographs

Raja Ravi Varma, Shri Shanmukha Subramaniaswamy

Raja Ravi Varma, Shri Shanmukha Subramaniaswamy, Dressed oleograph on paper

Considered one of the greatest painters in the history of Indian Art, Raja Ravi Varma was an artist who achieved recognition for his depiction of scenes from the epics of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. This oleograph like many of his other works, is a fusion of Indian traditions with the techniques of European academic art. His representation of mythological characters has become a part of the popular Indian imagination of the epics. Although his works are often showy and sentimental, they are very popular throughout India.

Here, Shanmukha or the six-faced Karthikeya, the elder son of Shiva and Parvati, is pictured on his peacock mount. Also known as Skanda, Subramania and Murugan, he is the God of War and Victory. Ravi Varma has depicted Shanmukha flanked by his two wives, Valli and Devasena, while the snake he is frequently associated with lies at their feet. The group is framed by the magnificent plumage of Shanmukha’s peacock, which symbolizes the deity’s victory over the ego.

Due to his vast contribution to Indian Art, in 1993 art critics curated a large exhibition of Raja Ravi Varma’s works at the National Museum in New Delhi.

Bhuri Bai: Speaking Tree

Collection: Gond Art

Bhuri Bai, Speaking Tree

Bhuri Bai, Speaking Tree, Acrylic on canvas

Bhuri Bai made her first mural painting at the age of ten. She was one of the very first women of her tribe to paint on paper and canvas. The forms depicted in her paintings appear to be in a state of weightlessness. The figures in this painting are made in bright colors, similar to paper cuts.

Many of the subjects in her painting depict the conflict between the woman, as a creator and the man, as a predator. These themes, which are often found in other early painters, may also be seen as metaphors for the theft of land, the relationship between man and animal, the domestic and the wild, the nature and the modern world. Her works share an ancestral view according to which every body is made out of particles.

Lado Bai: Sun and the Deer

Collection: Gond Art

Lado Bai, Sun and the Deer

Lado Bai, Sun and the Deer, Acrylic on canvas

Lado Bai started painting on canvasses at the same time as Bhuri Bai. Her main motifs are taken from the animal kingdom and Bhil rituals and festivals. Lado Bai’s art reflects “the flora and fauna of her environment along with rituals and festivals of her tribe. She draws Bhil Gods and Godesses in the centuries old Bhil style which is steeped in ethnic animism and spirituality.”

Today, this artist works at Adivasi Lok Kala Academy; however she was guided by artist Jagdish Swaminathan, who encouraged her to paint on canvasses instead of painting on mud walls in her village. Lado Bai has been able to make new statements through her art within the ambit of traditions, like other fresco painters of her generation.

Bose Krishnamachari: Stainless Steel Chandelier

Collection: Seven Art

Bose Krishnamachari, Stainless Steel Chandelier

Bose Krishnamachari, Stainless Steel Chandelier

Bose Krishnamachari’s stainless steel chandelier is an extremely unique piece of art. This chandelier can be viewed as an installation piece as well as a piece of furniture, because it has a unique combination of utility and design. The chandelier which appears to be the culmination of a number of individual lights put together haphazardly, is actually an extremely well designed object. It allows the viewer to depart from the perceived notion of a chandelier which is supposed to look elegant and somewhat symmetric. This chandelier is made with an extremely modern and contemporary outlook, almost as if it were the result of an experiment. According to some, it also looks like an asymmetrical space station.

This work by Bose Krishnamachari is abstract and dynamic. In all his works, weather it be paintings, photography or installations, these are dominant forces.

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