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Bharat Tripathi is a man driven to paint. I always respect that because the unstoppable urge to create is at the very heart of only artistic endeavor.

Having diligently researched the symbolism inherent in Hindu iconography Bharat has attempted to simplify its complexities, often in sheer graphic terms. His bold use of primary colors to an extent de-mystifies, in this case the story of Shiva, by isolating various facets of the Shiva narrative and the attendant mythological appurtenances associated with this deity.

Perhaps his technique needs honing but I greatly value his very honest approach to the creation of this very large collection of painting.


Artist's Note

Demystifying the "Story of Shiva" was the biggest challenge for me. The fact that the Shivaling represented the male phallus with the female yoni at its base was an astounding discovery. I have grown up with the image of Shiva as a dark man having a wild flock of hair with Ganga flowing out of it, body smeared in ashes, snake around his neck, carrying a skull in one hand and a trishul in the other. But for the mystique involved, I cannot fathom why a girl in our times would pine to marry him. Sati his first wife went against her father's wishes to have him as his consort. Though Shiva accepted her as his wife he realized her importance only after he lost her. She was reborn as Parvati, did severe penance to be his wife and the marriage had the blessings of her father this time. Stories of their love and passion, thenceforth, fuelled my imagination. He was the only one capable to tame the tempestuous Ganga on her descent to earth from the heavens. He drank the Vish (poison), which came out during the Sagar Manthan (churning of the ocean) to save the Shristi, the Creation.

As per mythology, Brahma is the creator of Shristi, Vishnu is the preserver but Shiva is the one who controls the cosmic cycle of birth and death. He is the only God who is worshipped in Nirakar form (Shivaling) as well as in Aakar form (statues). He appears to be someone who has renounced the world of pleasures yet the origin of Dance, Music and Yoga is attributed to him. Inebriated in Bhang (an intoxicating drink) and smoking his Chillum (marijuana), and enjoying the worldly pleasures much more than any normal person he creates the perfect balance between Maya and Moksh. He is the Tapasvi and the Natraja; the Yogi and the Bhogi; the epitome of male sexuality- The Mahadeva.

Incidentally, to my knowledge he is the only God in the Hindu Mythology who led a normal family life, with his wife Parvati, and sons Kartikeya & Ganesh. I have tried to create a story around Shiva, but it was too vast a subject and my knowledge too little. I have tried to express this insatiable thirst through my works. I do figurative abstracts or representative Art but in this series I had to deviate and the collection is a mixture of Abstract figurative and portraits.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to Ms Anjolie Ela Menon, who helped me at every step of this journey. Her guidance and her uncanny attention for details taught me the intricacies, which I could have never learnt from the books.

I would also like to express my gratitude to S H Raza, who initiated and encouraged me to pursue my hobby with passion and I made it my profession.

Bharat Tripathi