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Solomon’s lockdown gentlemen

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It is Souza x Souza because the Indian modernist’s grandson pays homage to his Six Gentlemen of Our Times collection, on 18-year-old canvases

When Indian Modernist grasp FN Souza died in 2002, one in all his daughters, Keren Kohn-Souza, had helped filter his New York residence. She had come throughout a roll of canvas he had in his studio, primed and ready for use. Now, 18 years on, on the top of this Coronavirus induced lockdown, their ‘wait’ has ended.

Keren’s 27-year-old son Solomon, broadly identified for his avenue artwork and graffiti, has used them in a collection of oil on canvas, as a kind of homage to his grandfather. As the Jerusalem-based artist informed GQ India, when he made it to their cowl this month, “It must have been the last roll he ever bought. She’d been holding on to it… now it was being passed on to the next generation, and I felt its powerful potential the moment it touched my hands.” Solomon painted three canvases, titled Gentlemen of Our Times (I by way of III), utilizing his “grandfather’s brutal style, his shocking colours and heavy hitting lines”.

Solomon Souza

Solomon Souza

Thinking concerning the instances

The collection is an apparent hat-tip to Souza’s 1955 work, Six Gentlemen of Our Times, which confirmed the busts of six males in fits and ties, their faces weirdly contorted. The sketches have been the artist’s commentary in opposition to what he noticed because the greed of the wealthy and of capitalism, or the model of it that he noticed in a newly-independent India.

Smack in the course of a pandemic-struck world, grappling together with his doubts concerning the seriousness of the virus, it was a social commentary that Solomon felt he wanted to interact with. “[Souza’s works show] disgust and anger at the greed of the business world. And now, these current times are making people act in certain ways…” he says. “I’m not a scientist or a doctor; I’m a bit of a conspiracy theorist. I don’t fully understand our response to the pandemic [like how easily we’ve picked up mask-wearing], but I do feel like the situation has been taken advantage of by the powers that be. I feel like [our response to it has been] manipulated in a way.”

Return to the Garden

Return to the Garden

The males of 2020

Of Solomon’s three Gentlemen expressing these doubts, the primary is the “modern man, jumbled up, kind of all over the place due to this whole thing — see his nose is like a hole, he has so much to breathe in, but he’s kind of lost in the darkness of his background,” he says. The second is a blue colored head, representing the enterprise world. “It’s kind of the evolution of Souza’s hungry, teeth baring [Gentlemen]… they’ve now become machines and are unstoppable,” he says. The third has a pleasing set of human options, enmeshed inside placing pink and blue strains, however with the added component of inexperienced. “This is like man is now becoming one with nature in a way, he is content,” he explains.

Rightful inheritor

  • Like Souza who grew to become a world citizen of types — shifting from India to Britain after which to the United States — Solomon too, born within the United Kingdom, now lives in Israel. Keren had moved them there over a decade in the past, after she grew to become drawn to her mom’s Jewish roots. “She’s an amazing artist herself, but she never used them [the canvases],” he says. “It wasn’t intentional; it just worked out that way.”

While the three heads bear Souza’s signature, Solomon has added to the collection with a fourth piece (painted on a brand new canvas) titled Return to The Garden. A recreation of Adam and Eve — forsaking behind the town’s skyline, watering the parched earth and regrowing the Tree of Life — it’s softer, and references his grandfather’s earlier, extra “innocent” works. Vivid and masterful, it additionally embraces his Indian tradition and paves the best way for a model new interpretation of the story with references just like the snake-shaped hose within the man’s hand.

These aren’t the one items Solomon has made just lately. “I can call myself prolific, in a way. If I’m not painting everyday it’s like I’m wasting the day,” he says. Earlier this 12 months, he was commissioned by Israeli-Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, the proprietor of Chelsea Football Club, to color a 12-metre mural at Stamford Bridge. Last December had additionally seen Solomon make his India debut, trundling alongside Goa’s streets on his scooter, portray murals of the state’s unsung heroes, in affiliation with the Serendipity Arts Festival. However, it’s these 4 items which have probably marked a passing on of the baton — from a Modernist grasp to the making of a recent one.



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