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The Moment When All Distinctions Vanish….

The Moment When All Distinctions Vanish….
Item Code: OS53
Oil Painting on Canvas
Artist: Anup Gomay
29.0 inch X 39.0 inch
A contemporary art-work, rendered in a century and a half old realistic style that the artists of the subcontinent innovated and developed around 1860-70 A.D., but the theme that the canvas represents is as old as the flesh, its instinct to love and its passion to touch. The flesh, its instinct to love and the desire to touch delighted universally, often beyond barriers of genders and even species, and in a mightier way than did the spirit and all its ways. Old myths, in India and beyond, are full of annals of trans-specie love – love between the members of two different species : man and animal, and animals of various species. Though socially tabooed, love within the same sex seems to have been widely practiced from times immemorial. In his timeless treatise the ‘Kama-Sutra’, the third century B.C. psycho-analyst and great thinker, sage Vatsyayana has dealt with the theme of love within the same sex at full length, and without condemning it. It seems that the Indian society’s subsequent emphasis on progeny linked the instinct of flesh with procreative sex and thereby with gender, and thus love within the same sex seems to have become the prey of social condemnation.

This painting, an excellent piece of art, realistic yet highly suggestive, portrays two young women of tender years engaged sensuously in the passionate game of love. The painting is a sincere and brilliant expression of absolute submission on the part of the maiden seated with her back turned to the fore, and of the heat of passion that the human body is capable of cradling in its flesh, eyes, and swelling beasts, which the maiden unstringing the cords of the breast-band of her companion reveals. A mere curve of her neck and the posture of her body submitted completely into the arms of the other more powerfully reveals her absolute submission than would reflect on her face. Hence, perhaps, the artist preferred portraying her with her face turned rather than portraying her front-facing. Her gold-like lustrous skin, elegantly moulded figure and a well-defined anatomy appropriately index her beauty. Clad in an emerald green casual wear round her waist, and a scarlet red band on her breasts – her sole ensemble, the young damsel has handed herself over to her partner, perhaps her senior, to let her extract from it the utmost pleasure for both to feast on.

Despite that she has unknotted the strings of her brassiere her naïve simplicity and submissiveness dismays her and her hands, as also her eyes, stay where they are. She seems to have descended deep into her eyes and now knows not how to come out. Enchanted she draws her with the softest pull on her thighs and into her arms, and with affection in eyes caresses her silken hair with the soft touch of her cheeks. Her passion reflects not only in her eyes, grown reddish with its heat, but also in her thirsty lips and in the neck-bone protruding in excitement. In relation to the silken softness and gold-like lustre of her skin the artist has conceived her skin as slightly subdued, such as sun-tan, perhaps for defining her masculine role or age difference. Her turquoise-green breast-band affords brilliant contrast to her partner’s red.

With her legs stretched she is seated in her bed. There lay on her legs a silken quilt embroidered with brilliant colourful flower and leaf motifs. Her quilt-covered thighs afford her sweet partner the most intimate and exclusive seat. Lustful clasp, mad infatuation in eyes and every muscle and every limb bursting with the heat of passion, all speak loud that they are in their most intimate moments, the moments when distinction that biology creates, or the gender identifies, is vanquished and what appears to be two bodies have melted into one. In the background the artist has drawn a wide range of irregular motifs in folk art tradition, elephants, moon, birds, boat, plants, flowers, dog among others, suggesting perhaps that instinct to love and pleasure that flesh yields is as primitive and timeless as these forms.

This description by Prof. P.C. Jain and Dr. Daljeet. Prof. Jain specializes on the aesthetics of literature and is the author of numerous books on Indian art and culture. Dr. Daljeet is the curator of the Miniature Painting Gallery, National Museum, New Delhi. They have both collaborated together on a number of books.

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