Unfinished hanging depicting scenes in the life of Sai Baba - ROM2018_16903_28


Unfinished hanging depicting scenes in the life of Sai Baba

Maker: Aithur Munikrishnan
Medium:Kalamkari: painted cotton tabby
Geography: Srikalahasti, Andhra Pradesh, India
Date: late 1970s - early 1980s
121 × 485 cm
Object number: 2018.60.1
Not on view
DescriptionAlthough following the structure and arrangement of traditional temple hangings, Munikrishnan chose to feature Sai Baba, a syncretic 19th-century saint from Shirdi, Maharashtra. Made for an unknown patron, this unfinished monochromatic hanging features Sai Baba in the large central panel. The highly animated narrative panels depict the saint and his devotees in a naturalistic style, from various angles and distances. The close-up views and abruptly cut figures are uncommon in temple hangings but common to comic strips. Munikrishnan’s clever reference to comic books is further evident in the presence of speech balloons and occasional phrases in English, as well as in his use of shading and hatching within the figures. This extraordinary hanging embodies the layered developments in the contemporary era.
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