Thursday, October 18, 2012

A portrait with a reverence-Shivaji Maharaj

Shivaji Maharaj
© 2012 Nayna Shriyan
Copper sheet, copper wire, Black Acrylic

    A true first for me, a portrait done in metal !! Yay! Now you might be wondering what am I getting so excited about well, this image here is a likeness of Shivaji Maharaj. For all my fellow Indians, you know who I am speaking about and why I am getting so excited, for all my global friends, this is the portrait of a great leader of our country. Without going into too many details, he  was an iconic leader who united the state of Maharashtra and brought the people together by instilling courage and patriotism in them. Someone who was just barely 16 and lead from the front. Tough he lived and ruled a couple of hundred years ago, his philosophies and ideologies are just as relevant today as they were then. For this very reason, I got a little jittery when a client asked me to create something with Shivaji Maharaj ( incidentally Maharaj means King ) as I absolutely did not want to mess this up!.
        So I gave the old cogs a good run and came up with this idea, I used piercing as my main technique to cut out portions of the profile and used line tool to bring out some details. The details on his garment are mostly fine copper wires soldered. The backing is a 4mm thick black acrylic sheet. Some stripling adds to the texture in the background. The bonus of course was the client and the person who received this piece as gift falling in love with it! :)

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Just a sketchy thought.

Artist (Photo credit: Fernando X. Sanchez)
            I was at a local mall this last weekend to pick up some essentials (seems like the easy way these days though I do prefer the old fashioned way of going to a whole bunch of different shops in the old part of my city. As I was sitting around in the lobby of the mall I noticed a small kiosk it had a screen playing an animated sketch taking place in about 1 min. It was one of those sketch-a-portrait vending machines. The kinds that take a picture of you and use some sort of photo altering software to create a simulated sketch. My first thought I must confess was annoyance, was it so easy to replace an artist who puts in years of experience, learning, emotion and hours and hours of practice with a silly vending machine?

                 I was then reminded of seeing artists sitting on small chairs with tourists and the local public sitting in front of them posing outside one of Mumbai's landmark art gallery The Jehangir Art Gallery. The major difference between these machines and the artist sitting outside the gallery? People queued up to be sketched by the artists and others hovered around to watch the artist creating his/her magic and the vending machine did not have a single person even looking at the short animated clip !
It just warms my heart to realize that the skill and talent of the artist is still valued over a cheap vending machine automated sketch. :)
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