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'Nude art is divine'

PTI | Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi
Apr 14, 2005 05:34 PM IST

It is an interesting paradox - while nude art in India is worshipped inside temples, it is just as liable to be burnt outside it.

It is an interesting paradox - while nude art in India is worshipped inside temples, it is just as liable to be burnt outside it.

HT Image
HT Image

But regardless of the fact that MF Hussain's nude rendition of Sarasawti sparked off an orgy of violence some years back, world-renowned painter Manjit Bawa thinks nudity is classic art, an attempt to capture the eternal beauty of life on canvas.

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"I have done a number of paintings where nudity is the central theme. I always try to express the mysticism of a woman's beauty through my work and create something different that satisfies my soul. I have a lot of respect for women in Indian society and that is why I show them in beautiful poses and beautiful themes," he says.

While the naked body may only now be making an appearance in Indian films, Bawa says it's always been there in Art. According to him: "Some of the most famous paintings in the world have portrayed woman as a beautiful being."

Contrary to popular belief nude art doesn't excite, insists S Raina, a young artist from Delhi.  Rather, it brings peace of mind and serenity. "The more beautiful you think about a woman, the more beautiful will be the transformation of your thoughts on the canvas. Why is it that every painter wants to draw a nude portrait? I think it has a lot to do with the alluring nature of a woman's beauty," he says. 

Sumit Verma, another upcoming painter in the capital, agrees with Raina. "Nature and women are supposed to be very enigmatic topics to paint on. This is what attracts people. My dream is to paint a woman in the nude and make it look as real as the woman herself. There's something so divine and serene about a nude woman on canvas. Those who make a hue and cry over such paintings have no understanding about the theme and its importance. The perversion is all there in their minds," says Verma.

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