Paintings on Indian culture are no longer boring
Raise your hands if you were born before the early 1980s and believe paintings on Indian culture are boring!
For those that were born before the 80s, there was one major thing that we take for granted nowadays that was not available. It’s the Internet!
Our encounter with illustrations and paintings on Indian culture was restricted to the photos of Hindu Gods in various sizes and frames that adorn every Hindu household throughout India. The art section in the Hindu gave us a glimpse of the what is happening through the country when it comes to paintings on Indian culture.
Famous artists like MF Hussain or his works will probably be mentioned in some news story every now and then. Some of us marvelled at Raja Ravi Verma’s exquisite paintings on Indian culture. If you were into arts, you probably had a much better exposure through books and school.
For the rest of us, our exposure to paintings on Indian culture was pretty limited.
Things are very different today. The availability of Internet everywhere has thrown open a lot of possibilities for artists throughout India. We are seeing an artistic renaissance in India as artists use the Internet to showcase their talent and also create new interpretations of the Indian culture as they get exposed to art from the west.
Yet another trend we are seeing the growth of platforms like Behance that lets artists from around the world (including India) to showcase their talent and find gigs. We also have a many commercial or e-commerce platforms that provide an opportunity for artists to sell paintings on Indian culture with a modern twist. All of a sudden art is no longer boring or confined to the rich. It is accessible to you and me, thanks to the Internet!
We decided to scour Paintcollar, a popular e-commerce site that sells unique merchandise with designs by artists in India, for illustrations and paintings on Indian culture and what we found will blow you away!
The bomb has been planted!
This amazing illustration from Paneer Pixel Masala worships the “atom bomb”. No, not the nuclear variety. This is the quintessential ‘mind-blasting’, ‘ear-splitting’ cracker that kids and grown-up love to ‘explode’ during Diwali. Who said Indian culture has to be peaceful or refined?
This illustration from Shakti Hari epitomises the Bollywood culture and the star power of Superstar Rajnikanth. His pose depicts his famous one-liner in Tamil – “If I say anything once, it is as good as saying it 100 times.”
Mumbai in 2098
Kushal Tikle from Singapore has created these paintings that depict a post-apocalyptic Mumbai in 2098. It brings together gritty elements of current Indian culture – Ambassador car, an Indian Railway coach and the ubiquitous Bollywood poster in a futuristic world. I was hoping the Swach Bharat program will clean things up a bit in Mumbai!
BTW, did you notice elements of truck art in one of the above pictures?
Shiva the destroyer, also available for protecting your laptop!
Lord Shiva in his dancing pose (Nataraj) is well-known the world over. Even Hollywood movies depict this imagery and there is a huge statue of Lord Shiva at the Minneapolis Museum of Art! This artwork from a freelance painter, Anhrodeep Mukherjee, is available to adorn your laptop.
Sadhu smoking weed and the villager
This a painting of a sadhu smoking weed by Sanjay Sharma. We have nothing more to say. Just stare and inhale the smoke.
Here is a villager. Notice the background.
‘Ramman’ or is it Hanuman?
This is a cross between Hanuman and Superman! Do you see the ‘S’ in this picture? Cool art by Tejeshwar Prasad.
Love in the train
The Indian Railway is an integral part of the Indian culture. It’s also been instrumental in bringing the country together in several ways! Another masterpiece by Tejeshwar Prasad. Wink wink.
The talented Mr Deepak Gupta has created amazing paintings. Here is Gautam Buddha for you.
Mermaids find a place in eastern as well as western cultures. If you look the sequence of paintings above, you are left wondering if the woman gazing the sea become a mermaid?
Colourful Indian city
This is an incredibly colourful painting of an Indian city. The advantage of looking at a painting compared to actually experiencing an Indian city is the complete absence of the smells and sound that assault our senses in Indian cities. You can find other interesting abstract painting and patterns from this artist here.
As you can see paintings on Indian culture spans the past, present, and the future. The explosion of artistic talent all around us and the ability of e-commerce platforms to showcase these artists is liberating. Purists will argue that commercialization of art may not be a great idea, but boxing art into any definition is also not a great idea.
You will also love this blog post – 21 Amazing Bollywood Fan Art
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