Fizamol (2007), 106.68cm X 152.4cm, oil painting on board
India has wonderful street art that can be seen all over the country. I found some of the best street art in the southern Indian state, Kerala. I really enjoyed my stay in Kerala and especially loved the kitsch art painted on the trucks. Consequently, Kerala and its wonderful trucks inspired me to make this particular painting. To have some fun with the bright colours, funky words, love, depth, and innocent folksy art.
This artwork was rolling along the length and breadth of the country on multiple tires. Not only is the outside of the truck beautiful. The cabin also has shiny lights, glittery lurex fringes, bright surfaces, and even things that glow in the dark.
In this painting you can see that the third dimension makes its presence felt. There is play in this work. Size is accentuated through the inclusion of the giant word, “Fizamol”. The black background helps highlight the bright bold flowers.
Small delicate sceneries in medallions surround the soft face of Mother Mary. Truck owners often ask for the blessings from the Holy Ones of their religion on their trucks. In Kerala, there are many Christians, as result Christian imagery is often present.
Each painting that I make is a lesson for me. I learn something new every time. In this work, I learned to use shadows and black to propel a subject forward for the viewer’s eyes to focus on.
This painting was not sold. I feel that the reason is that there is not enough appreciation in India for the kitschy art of the street. Personally, whenever I look at this painting I still feel very happy with it!
My mother, who is a tapestry weaver, really liked this painting. She made a beautiful tapestry based on it that is just the same size as the original. It is included here.