Once, Chowdhury travelled to India as an adult, he was confronted with a harsh reality, one that helped him understand why his father fled India and settled abroad. The Laundry Puja is colourful, disorganized, bright and at the same time, demonstrates a settled doom. The doom is further accentuated by the woman at the center of the photograph whose hands are clasped together as if in prayer. There are two men in the photograph. One appears to just be standing idly against a wall and the other appears to be walking, but it is not clear whether he is entering the area or leaving it. In the background there are three richly colored murals capturing India’s bright culture. Similarly the floor appears to be cement with a bright red color smeared over most of the floor. There are pots and pans on the floor as well as a pile of garments over which a clothes line hangs with garments either drying or airing. In the forefront of the photograph is an alarming image of a man’s head. As it sits upon the bright red floor, it at once gives the impression of a decapitated man, with a red fork protruding from his mouth and yellow beads adorning his facial hair. A closer look reveals that the head is made of some foreign material and is not in fact real. The surreal smirk on the man’s face and the half-closed eyes, present a macabre image all the same. As Chowdhury explains, the disorganization and the mixture of colours and images are meant to convey the confused and complex reality of India as he himself experienced and the fanciful exoticism that he imagined as a boy. Image 2 This painting appears to be abstract expressionism. Abstract expressionism was an art movement that began after the Second World War. During the war, constraints on artists expression in Germany and the Soviet Union resulted in many artists leaving for other parts of Europe and the US. In New York, these artist took advantage of their new found freedom of expression and created a form of art that sent a clear message. Art had no boundaries and did not have to comply with rigid philosophies. Abstract expressionism therefore emerged as an expression of freedom and resistance to constraints on creative freedom. The expressionist wanted to exercise “spontaneous freedom of expression” (Chivers, 4). For the abstract expressionist the emphasis was on the filling and using the entire canvas and drawing attention to its surface. What the abstract expressionist wanted to accomplish was highlighting the surface specifications of the canvas, its “flatness”, and to convey the message that all of the canvas is important (Chivers, 4). The image above epitomizes abstract expressionism in that it does not draw attention to a narrative, but rather it draws attention to the full canvas which displays a uniform image throughout the canvas. What you see in the left side of the canvas is mirrored on the right side, although the colors may have been reversed or changed somewhat. Regardless, the straight lines with fixed colors alternating in shades and arrangements demonstrate the spontaneous expression of abstract expressionism. Image 3 Kim Keever’s Landscape collection. The above image is a part of New York artist’s Kim Keever’s Landscape collection. Keever’s landscape collection are meant to depart from traditional landscape art. Keever accomplishes
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Course Art Descriptions Description of Various Art Works and Photographs Image 1: Laundry Puga by Neil Chowdhury: Waking Dream of India Collection The photograph is titled Laundry Puja from Neil Chowdhury’s Waking from Dreams of India. The photograph is a part of a photo journal compiled by Chowdhury in 2004…
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