Potrait from Shadow - IX

Potrait from Shadow - IX by Sanjeev Maharjan
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Art detail

Code: #sm9
By Sanjeev Maharjan
Price: $185
Year: 2009
Size: 12.00 x 12.00 in
Material: Canvas
Medium: Oil
Shipping Mode: rolled
In Stock: Not Available
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As I walked through Basantapur, Thamel, and Jamal, I generally see a group of children dancing freely on the streets, without any hesitation, playing cards, smoking and sometimes fighting. I used to feel a sense of fear for my own safety. Along with the fear, questions arose in my mind. Why were they on the streets and where did they come from? Were they simply the dejected rejected "Khate" or "street kids" who were ignored and evaded by the rest of Kathmandu’s preoccupied society? Or did each of these children have their own stories? Was there something about them we really needed to be afraid of? It was to find the answers to these questions that I began to paint this series.

It began with visiting the spaces where they played and spent their time. It was the first time I really saw them. I spent increasing amount of time with them. More than words, I am comfortable exchanging thoughts and communicating visually. So, I asked the children if they were interested in drawing and painting. I found they too were like me. They drew their own landscapes, their stories and their experiences. They even told me," this is how their village look." They drew their friends, dogs, houses, mountains, trees, terrible creatures, dragon, and sometimes made jokes like, "this looks like your imaginary girlfriend". I found that they drew their surroundings, their observations, and their own experiences. This process brought us closer and built a trust and friendship amongst us. Kaladhar, Suman, Saila and Saroj were with whom I first made contact. A few of them shared the stories of how they   came to live on streets. What I found from their stories was that the streets were a place of refuge from the abuses they experienced from their broken families.

I captured some of my visits with video camera and through still photography. The images and video I took served as a remembrance of those moments. My own experiences and the stories shared by the children became important in my process of making the paintings. I painted the children’s portraits from these photographs, trying to respect the shape and expressions in their eyes. These images were in colors, but I painted them in monochrome to express the sadness and darkness I felt when thinking of what the children was living with. The scribbling and child like drawings in the background reflects my experiences, observations, memories and the stories shared by the children. I felt the need to represent the children as they were, as well as depict my own experiences and interpretations.

I do not have all answers to my questions, but simply listening, hearing and depicting the children and their stories has changed the way I see the children who dance, play, smoke and fight on the streets, footpaths and alley around the Kathmandu. I do not sense the same fear any more.

Note: Please note that the actual colors of the Painting may vary due to differences in monitor color depth and make. The color shown is as close as possible to the actual colors of the Painting.

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Sanjeev Maharjan
Date of Birth : 1983-09-08

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