I am a professional artist and I had an idea that I would spend a year making a 10 foot tall drawing. Though I started the first 6 months or so with a 005-micron pen, I realized this wouldn’t be what I wanted it to be without some color. So, some house paint, gelly roll pens, copic markers, 24k gold leaf and 13 months later, this is what I came up with.
I worked between 30 and 80 hours a week on this monster and kept in my living room where it towered over my 7-year-old son as he played (he is pictured upper right in red hues.) There are sections I spent months on and then painted over later. Some sections I thought were complete but I went in and spent weeks adding more detail.
The title of the piece is “The Kali Yuga.” The Kali Yuga is a Hindu concept for the current age of man. It is the dark ages essentially, where people are selfish and basically evil. It has been going on for over 5000 years so it’s not some new thing. The Arabic at the bottom is translated from Sanskrit to English and then to Arabic. I hired a calligrapher to write the Arabic in the style that it appears at the bottom and then stenciled it on with gold leaf.
The writing is from the Bhagavad-Gita and reads “All works are being done by the energy and power of nature, but due to delusion of ignorance people assume themselves to be the doer. The mind alone is one’s friend as well as one’s enemy. Fear not what is not real, never was and never will be. What is real, always was and cannot be destroyed.”
There are references to many other pieces of art in this piece and each reference carries some reasoning behind it. I tried to represent many cultures but leaned heavily on ones that I relate to, being half American and half Indian. This is a highly personal piece for me.
Living with it and working on it was a nightmare of large proportions. I got out of shape, felt anxiety, couldn’t mentally remove myself from it and was often sick. This is not a work of precision, it is a work of my pure mental and emotional expression. Now that it is complete, I find I cannot explain it. It has meaning but the meaning is beyond my logical capabilities. It came from my fears, my subconscious and my love. How does one explain these things?
More info: nfnkalyan.com
The Kali Yuga
Extreme Close Up
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Me And The Kali Yuga
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