Raqib Shaw - Contemporary Day Sale London Sunday, June 28, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Victoria Miro, London

  • Catalogue Essay

    Raqib Shaw's seductive and ornate works are more than a mere outburst of psychedelic, surreal and pornographic imagery. Born in Calcutta, brought up in the cultural wealth of Kashmir and educated in London, where he resides and works, the artist's richly layered oeuvre is influenced by his diverse background and thorough knowledge of the history of art. His representations of utopian hedonistic worlds populated by copulating mythical part human-part-animal hybrid creatures are informed by various aspects of Eastern culture such as Kama Sutra, Hindu mythology and Japanese Hokusai prints. Executed on monumental wooden panels, Raqib Shaw's work is directly influenced by the elaborate and dream-like depictions of paradise found in the paintings of the Northern Renaissance artist Hieronymus Bosch. Encrusted with semi-precious stones, the bejewelled brilliance of Shaw's surfaces reflect the richness and beauty of the Indian subcontinent's unblemished landscape where the artist spent his childhood.
    "I have always been obsessed with the idea of making industrial paints and decorative materials into something beyond decorative. I want the paintings to question people's notions of aesthetics. In looking at my work I want people to believe in the possibility of transcendence, that base metal might be turned into gold, or as Proust eloquently wrote to reveal ‘the pearl that may give the lie to our carapace of paste and pewter.'" (Raqib Shaw quoted in Victoria Miro, The Garden of Earthly Delights, 2003)
    The present lot, an untitled work on paper comprised of glossy enamel paint, graphite, glitter and rhinestones in a technique emulating the bas-relief or the compartmented effects of cloisonné. It depicts a phantasmal scene of underwater hybrid creatures indulging in bacchanalian debauchery. Beyond the imagery, one cannot help but be mesmerized by the intricate detail of execution found within the vibrantly painted flora and fauna inhabiting Raqib Shaw's grotesquely beautiful world.



Mixed media on paper.
42 x 59 cm. (16 1/2 x 23 1/4 in).
Signed and dated 'Raqib Shaw 04' lower right.

£25,000 - 35,000 

Contemporary Day Sale

29 June 2009, 4pm