Visions of Circe: Mixed Media Artwork by Anil CS Rao
August 22 to 26, 2011
Orchard Windows Gallery
37 Orchard St
New York, New York
Circe is referred to in Dante’s Divine Comedy: “Virtue is like an enemy avoided by all, as is a serpent, through misfortune of place, or through bad habit that impels them, on which account they have so transformed their nature, the dwellers in the miserable valley, that it seems that Circe had them in her pasture.”
It is the artist's intent to convey the impact of an enchantress on his pysche - the obstacle to obtaining liberation from this cycle of pain & pleasure: life & death : samsara. The images of females are photo based, printed on canvas via gilcee process and retouched with oil and acyrlic paints. The goal of this process is to combine photorealism with abstract elements found in paintings.
In addition - images printed on metallic photo paper and encased in acrylic frames will be on display. These will be images from a upcoming publication of poetry and visuals titled "Breakfast with Tiffany" (Cyberwit Publishers, 2011). An imaginary character - a satirical series inspired by the master artist Andrew Wyeth's Helga paintings.
The artist would like the audience to experience the overindulgence in sensual pleasure that often need to be catharsised in order to proceed on a spiritual path whether that path is Eastern (Buddhist, Hindu, Taoist), Judeo-Christain or (especially) in Islam. A special exception is the Sufi mystical path where sensuality is the means to liberation - outlawed by many conservative Islamic doctrines.
Inspiration for the artwork include: Sufi poems and "ghazals", Taoist texts, the Kama Sutra, and an eclectic assortment of Western religion and philosophy.