Monday, May 8, 2017

The Art of Baiju Neendoor

Work by Artist Baiju Neendoor
Baiju Neendoor is a Qatar based Indian artist. He took Diploma in Painting from the Ravi Varma College of Fine Arts, Mavelikkara in 1991. In his paintings he portrays the futility of violence using an Expressionistic visual language. This particular untitled painting done in acrylic in a 5’x 6’ canvas is one of the latest works by the artist in which he responds (or I interpret) to the current phenomenon of serial rapes and gang rapes in India in general and Kerala in particular. The famous Ardhanareeswara concept is deconstructed as if the male and female principles were two layers of entities within the same body rather than a fused being that respects both the sides and does not discriminate. This de-layered being is standing right in the middle of a forked path that runs into a city in the background, represented minimally by the artist. The male entity seems to have all the control as he holds the threads but a closer look would reveal that he is now simply reduced into a tragic figure in a very precarious situation as his male organ is being pulled by the female entity by her left hand in the right hand she holds a pair of scissors. 

The tragedy of the man however does not evoke any sympathy in the viewer for s/he understands that he is the maker of his own fate. This act of a possible de-membering reminds one of the infamous case of Bobbitising happened in the US in 1993. Lorena Bobbit had cut off the male organ of her abusive husband using a kitchen knife. Here Baiju Neendur expresses his angst against the ‘rape’ incidents by empowering the rebelling female entity in the traditional half man-half woman concept. He further ridicules the male by making him hold a polythene carry bag in his left hand to ‘preserve’ his maleness if the menacing act of his female self takes place. I found this work immensely interesting.

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