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Size: 36 x 27 inches
Medium: K3 Pigment Print on Archival Paper
Style: Digital Art
Edition: Edition of 10 + 2 Artist Prints
Signature: Bottom Right in English


In a cosmos of affluent Asuras and entitled Devas, Lakshmi moves. Paying little attention to their eternal combat, she chooses. She is the goddess of wealth, and like wealth, she is more desired than enjoyed. Her attention moves as she gazes over our small lives, with our slight victories and failures, only too aware of how little would survive us. From the ground, she had once risen, but only noticed in the skies, when her dazzle was in full bloom. We were made to understand, that this is how she always was - linked with our every swollen and unsatisfied desire. But she reminds us of an earlier time, when she was a child, growing into a woman in her home, underneath the earth, hidden in the early hymns of the Vedas. A long age of both innocence and awareness, when Asura meant a divine being, still uncoloured by a later moral turn their stories took, spinning them into simplistic caricatures of demons and villains. An age of her childhood, fathered, not just by one, but three Asuras. Varuna – the ocean, Puloman – the earth and Bhrigu – the teacher. Sharing her heritage with glorious asuras – Balli, Virochana. An age of innocence that changed as did she, only coming into herself as she moved away from home. Suddenly, capturing our attention, she arrived in the world of the gods. Astonishing the heavens with her glamour, she chose to sit beside a thrilled and bewildered Indra. Still, she remained restless and uncertain. Surly, she thought, the heavens must have someone more worthy of her. Lakshmi changes lives on a whim, leaving a trail of uncertainty. Nervous gods and humans, unaware of whom she will favour next. Indra suffered in his insecurity, never able to truly enjoy her, eternally balanced on a shaky throne. She seemed to have appeared with no particular reason and now might leave just as mysteriously. Tormented by the knowledge that he was king and his kingdom was heaven because of her. Proving him right, her journey continued, till she finally met Vishnu.

About the Series:
This artwork is part of the “Sister Misfortune” series, through which the artist, Smruthi Gargi Eswar, narrates lesser-known stories from Indian mythology, while reflecting on the narrative surrounding women in our culture. Various Indian goddesses (devis) are depicted with a refreshing artistic lens.
In India, there is a constant burden on women to be “Devi-like”. Through this series, the artist attempts a reverse deification of the goddesses, making them appear like real women, in a real world. The series is an exploration not just of duality, but of multiplicity. It compels us to question our attitudes - women towards themselves, 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?
  • ABOUT Smruthi Gargi Eswar

    Smruthi Gargi Eswar is an artist and storyteller. She studied at the Baroda Faculty of Fine Arts and Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore briefly. Her art studies started much earlier though, while she was still a student at The Valley School KFI. From a fine arts education, Smruthi moved on to graphic design and photography almost immediately. But over the last few years, she has ventured back into the world of art, finding within it, an avenue to explore, address and express at a more personal level. Her journey from graphic design to art initially established the medium in which her works were created. Now, they vary from terracotta to acrylic to photography. But one of the mediums she enjoys using the most to give voice to her artistic expression even today, is digital or graphic art.

    With shows travelling to Budapest, New York, Cochin, Delhi and Mumbai, Smruthi has always enjoyed collaborating with designers, performance artists and other creative professionals. In 2014, she did a solo show in New Delhi, showcasing works from her “Sister Misfortune” series at acclaimed fashion designer Ritu Kumar’s flagship store. The hugely successful art series, for which Smruthi has been creating works for over a decade, has also been exhibited in Kochi, Bangalore, and Mumbai. Smruthi is a board member of Art in Social Structures, an international NGO run and funded by artists that believes that art is the building block of all social structures. Her photography work has been published in India and the Philippines. Her work has been collected by art patrons around the world. The artist is based in Bangalore and Delhi.

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  • ABOUT Digital Art

    Digital art is a term used to describe an artistic practice that uses digital technology either as part of the creative or the presentation process. It falls under the umbrella world of new media art. Since the 1960s, various different names have been used to describe digital art, and some of the other commonly used terms include computer art, multimedia art, and even graphic art.

    Digital artworks can be created as unique or editioned pieces. To maintain the value and exclusivity of the artwork, an artist would typically destroy the source file (of the artwork), once the number of pre-decided pieces have been sold. Digital artworks may be presented digitally, but more commonly, they are printed works of art that can be hung on a wall, much like a painting.

    Contrary to misconception, creating digital art also requires artistic skills such as sketching, drawing and colouring, as digital artists use all of these to create their artworks on the computer. While there may be some lingering debate about the pros and cons of this new age medium of creation, there is no doubt, that digital art has created a vast expansion of the creative sphere.  

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