This painting has been requested for the exhibition, Making of Divinity, by Ina Puri, curator, to be held at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, and Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai from March - April 2006 and will be included in the accompanying exhibition catalogue.
Manipulating context and style, Kerala-born artist, Surendran Nair appropriates ancient Indian iconography to create complex and provocative critiques of contemporary culture. Mixing flickers of surrealism into prevailing notions of reality, Nair creates a body of work which straddles the boundary between the mythological and the historical. Part of a recent series begun in 2000 entitled Cuckoonebulopolis, Nair finds both title and inspiration in the ancient Greek tragedy, The Birds, by Aristophanes. This reference alludes to the quest for Utopia, identified in the text as the city of the birds. In this work, the female figure takes on the characteristics of Kerala style lamps, becoming both an object and a source of light herself. The archaic smile and pleasing physical proportions, also suggestive of Indian temple sculpture, lend a gentle air to the heightened sexuality of the figure.