I have been involved with an ongoing series of large Hindu God wall sculptures for the past 10 years. During this time my interest and love for India and the culture of devotion that infuses that holy land has only deepened. Yearly pilgrimages to India’s most holy places have been stoking the creative fire to make art that honors this tradition. I have sold one of these large scale pieces, and the rest have been surrounding me as I work in my welding studio. I envision these pieces transforming a space into a temple and am waiting for the right opportunity to bring them out into the world. In the meantime, you are welcome to visit my studio in Ossining, NY to see them in person.
The latest addition to this series has been the Goddess Kali. She is one of the more mysterious and misunderstood deities in the Hindu pantheon. It is her fearsome and ferocious depiction that both repels and compels. She is the only female deity who is depicted unclothed, aside from her skirt of severed demon arms, and her necklace of demon heads. The name Kali comes from the Sanskrit root “kalam” meaning dark colored and she is traditionally depicted as black as the night or deep blue as the sky. Like little children, we are afraid of the unknown and the dark, but the darkness is also a fertile and peaceful place. The earth is dark and rich with nutrients and it is in darkness where we sleep and are refreshed, rejuvenated, and reborn into a new day.
Kali’s violence is a righteous violence, a necessary killing in the name of goodness over evil. Kali represents the victory of positive forces for change over negative stagnant forces of lethargy, status quo, and ignorance. Kali challenges us to rise to the occasion and live up to our fullest potential and our highest selves. Kali protects us from the demons of delusion and from our destructive habits. Kali is the pure unbridled shakti, that universal energy that animates all of creation. She is our mother who is unafraid to stand up and defend Her children from harm. Jai Kali Ma! I give thanks and praises to the divine mother.
Here is a slideshow showing process photos from the creation of Kali. This piece was started on April 2nd 2016 and finished on May 30th 2016. She measures 6 feet tall by 4 feet 5 inches wide made from steel and painted with copper, patina, solvent dye and metallic pigment.