Sunday, June 17, 2007

Jivya Soma Mashe

Will and I saw the works of Jivya Soma Mashe displayed along with those of Nek Chand at the Max Fourny museum of Naive Art in Montmartre. This is the post I've been promising since then. I was completely captivated by his paintings, seeing applique, quilting and embroidery designs everywhere. You should be able to double click on many of these pics for larger views.

You can read more about the artist at the above link. To see great photos of the exhibition, which is on until 26 August, go here. It's really marvelous to see the paintings and statuary together and if you have the chance to go see them in person, do it.

A whole painting. Three different types of trees, along with critters:

A closer view of the spiders and insects caught in the web:

Another close-up. The leaves looks like hearts:

A detail from another painting. I like this dandelion tree. And the branches of the tree on the right look like peacock feathers. You can also details of village life: cooking dinner, carrying water, mending a roof.

The paintings that had spirals were amazing to look at from across the room. Very eye-catching.

The women in this painting were a bit different from those in the others. They have long wild hair. Looks like planting going on down at the bottom.

A detail from the above painting of fun critters:

Detail from a different painting. "Dandelions" and hearts together.

And another detail of a dandelion-like tree, with a beautiful peacock in the branches:I was fascinated by this painting, which seems very celebratory:

A detail of the spiral, made up of a conga-line of people. The person in the middle appears to be blowing a horn.

Before reading more about the Warli tribe who do not follow Hinduism, I thought that this was Ganesh, the elephant-headed god. Maybe a similar diety?

Another detail of the same painting:

Musicians and the elephant-headed deity (?):

More musicians and a view of the river:

Another tree detail:

Another painting which fascinated me. Loot at the night sky above and the river down below:

A detail of a man (could he be a king with a crown on his head?) holding a scimitar or scythe and riding a peacock, followed by a swarm of insects.

Hmm, okay these giant birds aren't peacocks. Peacocks aren't carnivorous. The babies are getting a bull for dinner.

A novel way to gather fruit:

A night sky from a different painting:

There were no explanations of the paintings, so I enjoyed making up stories for them. Do wish there was better documentation at the exhibit though. I found it fascinating that these tribal paintings used to be the sole province of the women of the Warli tribe and were done on the walls of huts. Not anymore.

I love the mix of the phantastical along with images of daily life.


kristin L said...

Thanks for sharing! These are wonderful -- each one more fantastic than the one before it.

anne bebbington said...

Tonya - these are amazing - so simple yet complex all at the same time - what were they made of? Were they painted onto some sort of background? it looks a bot like wood - thank you so much for sharing

Jan said...


Dianne said...

What an incredible artist, Tonya! I love the combination of delicacy and strength in these works. They also remind me a bit of the cave paintings in the American Southwest, and other places around the world.

Inspiration for quilting abounds...

Elaine Adair said...

My gosh -- image overload!!! Soooo many quilt stitch ideas -- not to mention their originality.

I have missed many of your posts - my browser gives me the dreaded "has encountered a problem" message, until my pea brain said, "try another browser" and it's now working fine. I don't want to miss your wonderful travel photos.

Your banner is great!

Lily said...

I wouldn't have picked these as being from India. I thought more African when I had a first squizz.

Very gorgeous and yes, lots of inspiration too.

jovaliquilts said...

Amazing! I have never heard of this style or artist before, thanks so much for showing all these photos. The official site should hire you for their photographer! Your pics really get all the detail.

Sorry there wasn't more info about the paintings. I guess the philosophy in France is that art stands alone, because every museum I went to there had very little in the way of accompanying text. I always wanted more.


cher said...

fantastic eye candy-so much inspiration....thanks!

Karen said...

How amazing are these?? Poor bull that's about to be dinner. Thank you so much for showing.

Namrata said...

Hey there,
Thanks so much for all these pictures. You've helped me more than you'll ever know by posting these pictures.
Theyre gorgeous =)

Chota Prah said...

Inspire me to paint my dining room wall with some of them...thanks a lot

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