"My Sister Pratibha with her Pet Hen"
Manish Om Prakash, "My Sister Pratibha with her Pet Hen," oil on canvas, 30" x 20".
MANISH OM PRAKASH, The Playful Muse
Winchester Galleries, Victoria
Oct 14 to 31, 2007
By Brian Grison
Self-trained by history books and endless figurative doodling, Manish Om Prakash, moved to Victoria from India in 1988 when he was 25. He paints in the manner of 19th-century French academic art, while exploring imaginary points of contact between Greek mythology and Hindu cosmology. As well, educated in grade school and high school by Franciscans, there is a hint of Catholic symbolism in his work. “The Weary Cupid” is typical — it shows a young woman holding a child on her shoulder. Though the mother, with her blue gown and white veil, could be the Virgin Mary, the child’s wings and golden bow suggest a pagan myth. There is a delightful metaphysical game here in a manner typical of the Catholic, Hindu and Grecian ability to conflate the supernatural and mundane. The angelic youngster, too young to fly but too tired to walk, strains his mother’s arms. The recent painting, “Bree”, slips into modernism, evoking a provocative model painted by Edouard Manet in 1863 that scandalized France. Here, Om Prakash creates a more contemporary play with art history and narrative, painting a subject that would appeal to the sense of irony in feminist confrontations with the male viewer.
Represented by: Winchester Galleries, Victoria.