Ganesha – one of the favourites of the Hindu pantheon of dieties. Unmistakable with his elephant head and pot belly, calm expression and array of forms, he is as important as he is popular. Every significant event in the life of a Hindu begins with the invocation of Ganesha and thus he is also called “the lord of beginnings.” Perhaps, what makes Ganesha so beloved is his approachable air and zoomorphic spirit of making do with what you have.
For artists, the appeal lies beyond his religious representation. What probably fascinates the artists is not only Lord Ganesha’s form but also the mystical aura that lends itself to various interpretations. One of India’s greatest artists M. F. Husain too has paid homage to this elephant – headed god, calling him “one of India’s more secular Gods.” It is this heterogeneity of approach that Ganesha inspires and the multifariousness of aspects of life he influences that make him so desirable and naturally call for equal variance of expression and representation. We pick for you a few of these gorgeous representations from the Eikowa repository!
Amit Bhar’s Realistic Ganpati
In the art of Amit Bhar, who is known to depict the themes of beauty, devotion and inner reflections in his work, Ganesha is painted with breathtaking realism. The monochromes make the work so profound, somber in tone and above all the chiaroscuro achieves duality of life. The lord in this ‘Abhanga’ or unbroken posture signifies rigidity and right attitude, which is precisely captured by the well- defined attention to extreme detailing.
The Lord of Contentment in Om Swami’s work
In another type of representation by Om Swami we see the subject being executed in a rich palette of colors that are earthy and warm. Ganesha is represented within a circle and with an attention that is soothing. It is the bounding of the unbounded makes the painting so interesting. There is an inherent impression of wholeness, not least because of the perfection of the composition and the sensitive color range but by nature of subject itself. It probably represents contentedness that we should aspire to in our finite set of factors.
Meditative and Exuberant in the art of M Singh
Singh’s art oscillates between meditative and exuberant. His colorful Ganesha explains all possible phases of life. His representation of the meditating Maha Ganesha exudes the absolute positive energy while at the same time celebrating the triumph over obstacles with his ten hands.
There is another side to the serious god, wherein he is represented playing a musical instrument who is gracious in his moves, even with the heavy built and large belly. Much like Krishna, Ganesha affirms life by celebrating in its pleasures and beauty in the riot of colours and textures effected by acrylic on canvas. The palette predominantly ochre and tangerines with appearances of blues, greens and reds, convey energy and youthful exuberance of the god. The ‘lord of knowledge’ is shown with various types of musical instruments, with is eyes closed in rapt joy and body swaying with the rhythm of life. He truly captures the emotion of one who is immersed enjoyment of life and celebrating its beauty.
Anirban Seth’s Wise God
The Ganeshas of Anirban Seth, a renowned artist from West Bengal depict mythological tales that surround the deity. Using this theme as a medium for self-expression, he aims to bring a balance between spirituality and rationality, which he believes is the essence of life. Often with one of his hands blessing and another offering modak (Ganesha’s favorite offering), the simple and the most basic image of Ganesha is powerful yet graceful. The physical aspects chubby, gentle, wise, elephant-headed Ganesha are rendered with artistic dexterity and emotional depth.
Replete with symbols and possibilities, even the ride of Ganesha, a tiny mouse offers a great juxtaposition of the majestic elephant n a tiny mouse. Being the son of two major gods of Hinduism, followed by a bizarre rebirth, Ganesha has acquired the strange yet intriguing image. Representative of perfection in imperfection he is able to emote and represent the human life like no other. We are, after all, divine and mundane simultaneously!