Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Art: Indian Artist Enjoys His World Audience
An article about Tyeb Metha in today's NY Times - Indian Artist Enjoys His World Audience
'The central passion of his work stems from his country's central wound: the 1947 partition of British India that left a million people dead, drove millions from their homes and inscribed a deep sense of anguish across his imagination. In the Hindu-Muslim clashes that broke out around 1947, Mr. Mehta watched as his neighbors butchered a stranger to death. The victim was Hindu and the attackers were Muslim, but it happened the other way around in other neighborhoods. Many Indians his age have an identical memory.
"That violence gave me the clue about the emotion I want to paint," he explained. "That violence has stuck into my mind."
The bull became a favorite figure. Not a bull in repose, but a tied-up, writhing, mutilated bull. "I was looking for an image which would not narrate, but suggest something which was deep within me, the violence that I witnessed during partition," Mr. Mehta said. "Have you seen a bull running? This tremendous energy being butchered for nothing."'