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Raqib Shaw’s Surreal Exhibit

moca1The Garden of Earthly Delights

By Nadia Joseph

 The latest exhibition in MoCA is that of Raqib Shaw. His exhibition, titled The Garden of Earthly Delights, is comprised of paintings that are all vibrant in color and feature an ongoing underwater theme.

According to a MoCA press release, this artist uses 21st century concept combined with a 15th century theme: “His work draws on cultures of India and Kashmir, China and Japan, and he mixes media such as car enamels and industrial paint with such decorative materials as glitter and semi-precious stones.”

Shaw’s art is similar to that of 15th century painter Hieronymus Bosch, who was his inspiration. (Shaw’s exhibition is named after one of Bosch’s best known works.) He refers to Bosch as the first Surrealist, which is someone who creates art that is more of a dream-like imagery from the subconscious mind. Hieronymus Bosch is a Dutch painter who lived from 1450 to 1516. He was basically a religious painter. His work depicted human torture as to show the sins of man and their evil actions.

When walking into the exhibition one can’t help notice the erotic implications in his paintings as well as a variety of water-related symbolism. One can say, for example, that the half man-half beasts in the paintings are gods giving life to the under water garden.

One can also notice the shimmers that seem to create an illusion that the painting has gems attached to them. According to the press release, “The effect is enhanced by the eclectic mix of materials he uses that include gold, glitter and semi-precious stones set in industrial paint and car enamel.” As said by Shaw, “I was looking for a new kind of material.”

Raqib Shaw was born in Calcutta (the capital of West Bengal in the eastern part of India) in 1974. He was later raised in Kashmir. At the age of 16, he left Kashmir and immigrated to England. In England he graduated from the school of Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design where he received his Masters in Fine Art. “The artist is an avid student of natural history, existentialism and romantic literature,” the press release stated.

This is Shaw’s first solo U.S. premier and the Museum of Contemporary Art is proud to have this honor. I wouldn’t recommend it for those under the age of 12, but it’s your call. The exhibition is up at MoCA until April 16.

       MoCA is located at 770 NE 215th street in North Miami.
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0 0 252 10 April, 2006 Art, Entertainment, Lifestyle April 10, 2006

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