3.5 x 5.5 in. / 8.9 x 14.0 cm.
Watercolour on paper
The son of a mechanical draughtsman, Rabin Mondal took to painting and drawing at the age of twelve. The Bengal famine in 1943 and the communal riots of 1946 deeply impacted his psyche. He joined the Communist Party and became an activist for a while. However, Mondal’s art has always been his greatest weapon of protest. His authoritarian figures are compelling reminders of the profound observations of the Buddha on the impermanence of power and kingship, still relevant to our times. Made in the early 1980s, this painting is a culmination of the works from this series and boasts of Mondal’s distinctiveness— which lay in an almost totemic sense of motif-making with human features that are exaggerated to appear subhuman or ape-like, a distortion that depicts the innermost depravity of those who abuse power, with their clawed feet and unclothed body adding to the sense of grotesqueness.
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