About the Collection
An artist and storyteller, Smruthi Gargi Eswar views the past with a sense of romance and mystery. Mythology and culture are alive and living to her; her perception of culture changing with every version of every story she heard as a child. A space that is usually associated with the past and used to control under the authority of culture, is also a space that one can use to liberate. And that is what Smruthi does with her remarkably refreshing Sister Misfortune series, created using the medium of digital art.
In India, there is a constant burden on women to be “Devi-like”. In the choice between Devi and other, society is inevitably drawn to the idea of the Devi (goddess). Through this series, Smruthi revisits the traditional narrative surrounding Indian goddesses, liberating them from the stiff beings of calendar art and mythological soap operas. She dwells on the lesser-known stories about the goddesses, prodding us to view them as ‘real women’, in a real and complex world. Through her work, Smruthi attempts a reverse deification of these goddesses, exploring not just the duality, but the multiplicity of their individual personalities and journeys.
Manipulating the fluidity, rhythmic forms, and floral motifs of the Art Nouveau style, Smruthi liberates Indian goddesses from their traditional representations, presenting them a contemporary avatar. There is a certain sense of lightness to the works. The excessive ornamentation is intentional, emphasizing the importance of aesthetics, and the idea that beauty for its own sake is as elevating as any virtue. The use of bold fonts and lush foliage, combined with flat perspectives and monochromes, give the artworks a flamboyance that is almost cinematic.
Through Sister Misfortune, Smruthi Gargi Eswar compels us to question our attitudes - women towards themselves, and men towards women. How does the idea of a goddess coexist within every woman? How do we, as a society, so casually dismiss, disrespect, disregard, and defile in our everyday existence, those who we have bedecked with gold and enshrined in a temple?
Process and Pricing
Smruthi creates her graphic or digital artworks on the computer, wherein drawing, sketching and colouring are still very much part of her artistic process. Each work is created as a limited edition of 5 or 10 pieces plus 2 artist prints, and once the entire edition is sold out, the source file is destroyed to maintain its exclusivity. As pieces in any edition get sold, the price of the artwork keeps increasing, reflecting its value.
The Artist Speaks
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