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Artist takes inspiration from Ravi Varma for COVID awareness
Celebrated Indian painter and artist Raja Ravi Varma is one among the greatest painters in the history of Indian art and his paintings are considered as the best examples of the fusion of Indian traditions with techniques of European academic art.
Taking his paintings to another level is visual artist Rahul V Mathew. He has used six of Raja Ravi Varma paintings to create digital art to spread awareness on the importance of hygiene practices and other aspects related to coronavirus.
“I wanted to create awareness on COVID outbreak and there are many mediums to share our thoughts.
Being an artist, I know that images speak louder than words and visuals easily register in people’s minds than any text. That’s how I came up with the idea of spreading awareness through art. For this, I selected six of Raja Ravi Varma paintings and created a digital collage with it. I have mainly focused on aspects like panic buying, social distancing, hygiene, mental health and self-quarantine,” says Rahul.
He has taken Ahalya of Raja Ravi Varma’s painting and placed her in the aisle of a supermarket holding a basket carrying two disinfectants. This digital collage with the caption, ‘You should prepare for the coronavirus — but don’t buy more than what you need’, is a message against panic buying. Another collage that went viral is that of two mythological characters, Menaka and Shakuntala. “I have juxtaposed two characters with face masks on an airport walkway to share the idea about social distancing. I have captioned the image: ‘You should prepare for the coronavirus — All travelers 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.’ In another collage where Krishna sitting with Yashoda and a female attendant, I have shown the attendant using wet wipes on Krishna’s hands. This picture suggests the importance of washing hands,” says the visual artist.
When quizzed why he picked Ravi Varma’s paintings for art collage, Rahul says that he wanted to visualise how Ravi Varma’s characters would interact if they lived in today’s day and time