Thursday, March 12, 2009

On hawking the gods

From a website selling prints of Indian gods. I hate the 'artsy' undertones implicitly embedded in the text...

During the late nineteenth century, India established a printing industry devoted to producing images of Hindu Gods & Goddesses. Go to India today and you’ll see them everywhere ( not the oldest, but prints from about the 1960’s on), in stores and restaurants, on taxi dashboards, tied to bicycle handlebars, even nailed to trees as parts of shrines. For Hindus these prints embody Gods, something of the essence or spirit of a God which is manifest in the world. During puja (daily worship) the God is invited to descend into its image and is treated as a guest. Offerings of fruit, flowers, or sweets are placed before these prints, prayers are chanted to them, incense are burned for them, and garlands of marigolds are hung around their frames.
India’s earliest color prints are lithographs printed from limestone blocks. Images were drawn by hand on as many stones as there were colors to be printed. These stones, each inked in one color, were then printed in succession. By the 1940’s this technique was replaced by the faster and cheaper photo-offset process used today.

They seem to have a gallery show at the International Print Center in NY next month...

Krishna with Gopis, Chore Bagan Art Studio, 1880’s

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