One of the most amazing things about human civilization is that even in the most despondent of times, we somehow manage to extract something beautiful out of it. While the Coronavirus has grappled the entire world with fear and anxiety, brave doctors, scientists, and humanitarians are doing their best to deal with the pandemic. Another set of individuals who are working towards easing the hysteria on a humane and sensitive level are artists. Homegrown’s loved and Kochi’s very own Rahul Mathew has created a unique series that comments on this pandemic while utilizing an ancient printing technique to add a new layer of interpretation that eases images that we cannot escape in today’s time. Mathew captures the essence of this situation and infuses it with art and technique. Beauty, inspiration, and art can emerge from even the most sordid of times and we love to see Indian artists create relevant content that informs and inspires the public in such times. Art can be a great medium for the transmission of information and Mathew shows us just how.
Rahul Mathew brings back artist Ravi Varma’s delicate and mesmerizing paintings and superimposes them on today’s time period. Around Ravi Varma’s time, lithographic printing was gaining popularity in many European countries and in the United States. Based on its worldwide acceptance, the then Dewan of Travancore, T. Madhava Rao suggested that Varma and his brother come up with a press of their own. Intrigued by this new idea, Ravi Varma first started a press in Bombay and later shifted it to a place near Lonavala. The press came up with tonnes of oleographs depicting Hindu gods and goddesses. Back then, his press was the largest and the most advanced in the whole of India. This series looks at how it would be if the characters from Ravi Varma’s lived in Bombay and tries to capture an imagined interaction of theirs with this city.
This time, Rahul has brought the characters from Ravi Varma’s painting to the modern context to spread awareness regarding the Coronavirus illness (COVID-19) which is spreading throughout the world. Through each artwork, he is trying to create awareness because we can break the chain of the spread of coronavirus.
1. Improve your hygiene.
Krishna sitting with Yashoda and a female attendant × Raja Ravi Varma × COVID-191. Don’t panic buy.
2. Avoid close proximity.
Menaka and Shakuntala × Raja Ravi Varma × COVID-19
3. Ahalya × Raja Ravi Varma × COVID-19.
You should prepare for the coronavirus - but don’t buy more than what you need.
“You should prepare for the coronavirus - All travellers should be aware of the virus, pay close attention to travel advisories and health guidance, steer clear of heavily impacted areas and exercise preventive measures” - Rahul Mathew.
“You should prepare for the coronavirus - Good hygiene is in your hands. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to prevent passing on germs. Dry your hands. Together we can help stop the spread and stay healthy” - Rahul Mathew.
#Spread love like a virus 🦠
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