Nandi-22-Acrylic on Canvas
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‘The Mighty Taurus’
An Epitome of Valor, Hope and Compassion….
Representation of power, as a symbol of virility or an object of worship in the form of Nandi, the ardent devotee of Lord Shiva; the bull or the Taurus assumes many forms and characters in the recent artworks of Sachin Akalekar.
For Sachin, the bull is far more than a handy subject to paint. It is also a way to reconnect with his past. Since his young age, the bull’s imagined muscles have clenched tight in the artist’s subconscious. His art reveals the robust connection between harnessing the strength of the bull as his subject and projecting his indomitability.
Born to a farmer, Sachin was drawn to the bulls while he spent his childhood in farms in a small village of Maharashtra. For Sachin, the bull represents a humble animal and object of worship, a constant companion of the farmer. Although disappearing fast from the traditional farming method, the bull still retains old charm and memories never completely succumbing to technological dominance.
The artist paints his subject purely out of his imagination. Being from an agrarian family, for Sachin the bull is not just an aid in farming but is a chief part of his family almost like a father figure. Despite being a symbol of valor, strength, fierceness, fearlessness, these beasts are dedicated to their masters.
In these paintings, Sachin brings out the innate strength of the animal present in its body as well as spirit. The artist is drawn to the bull’s movements and speed, and its rock-like steadiness when in rest. The artist also highlights the sacred, solemn, and benevolent nature of the bull as the mount of Lord Shiva. Nandi, the humped bull graces the courtyard of a Shaivite temple and serves as the gatekeeper at the entrance to a temple’s inner sanctum.
Here the bull is shown as an epitome of compassion, the giver of delight and joy. With its legs tucked under and tail wrapped around its smooth round body, it gazes serenely back at the viewer with soft warm eyes. The animal is painted with earthen palettes of ochre, red, blue, orange, green, violet, finished with shades of greys, blacks, and suggestive delicate rhythmic lines. The artist also uses patches of dark blackish-blue color to indicate the divine aspect of his subject. It assumes a sacred and meditative nature. The shiv linga, Trishul, bells prominently featuring on the canvas.
Few symbols in history have signified the raw energies of life itself more potently than the bull. Symbolizing the beauty and mystique of nature, these are an echo of the impressive creature known for its courage. And yet, the Bull remains possibly one of the least appreciated cultural phenomena of our country. The artist feels capturing them in all their glory on my canvas is nothing but a small tribute to the mighty Taurus.