What is art for if not to fight prejudices, differences and preconceptions? For the Indian artist Natarajaa, it is the main reason for making art. Experiencing the issue of racial and cultural difference himself, the Germany-based painter decided to make art that would help overcome the differences surrounding us and at the same time promote the outstanding work he does. The works in question, “The sacred and the profane”, address preconceptions about race, culture and traditions through oil paintings of political leaders painted on cow dung. If you wonder why cow dung, the artist has an answer: “Unlike in the western word where cow dung evokes negative associations, in India it has a very long tradition in folk art, eg. in Madubhani painting, handmade paper is first coated with cow dung and then painted upon. Through painting with oil paint on cow dung, materials symbolic of two cultures, west and east, I would like to contribute to the dialog on multiculturalism.” Indeed, the artist uses one material that defines the cultural difference between the two worlds, all with the goal of creating an intercultural dialogue and crossing the bridge of prejudices. In order to achieve this and finish the project, Natarajaa needs significant financial help.
Just like the ancient people saw the gods as their savors who could determine the course of our lives, in the modern society this role has been replaced with science, technology and the most important people in the field of politics. Through painting 30 of the world's most influential politicians (past and present) with oil paint on cow dung, the artist tries to combine and come together the two worlds – west and east, and past and present. For the last 10 years, Natarajaa has been exclusively making art using two elements - fire and water. With the philosophy that art is about transforming mundane, everyday materials and things into something which contains meaning and poetry, his first series of works allowed him to explore and play with art and the beauty that nature gives us. Eventually, his works gained critical acclaim and have been purchased by the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf and the city of Düsseldorf among other public and corporate collections.
Coming from India to Germany in 2003 with only 150 € in his pocket, Natarajaa was doing numerous different jobs in order to survive. Art was his escape from the difficult situation he was living in and still is. However, the only reason he could have make art all these years was the usage of natural materials like water and five. However, for the The sacred and the profane project, expenses are much higher and, as the artist predicts, it would take him over 8 months for the finishing result. If you like the series so far and would like to contribute to a dialog on multiculturalism, the website for the donations is here and will be opened until the last day of 2014.
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