NFN Kalyan, Contemplation, 2019

Kalki is the tenth avatar of Vishnu, and stories about him fighting against evil and chaos can be found in Hindu and Buddhist texts. The artist writes “He has yet to arrive on earth but when he does he will destroy the filth of this age (the Kali Yuga) and send us back to an age of innocence (the Satya Yuga).” The artist has gone ahead and anticipated what a narrative of Kalki’s life might look like in a series of ten paintings, this being number seven. Kalyan also has a background in music, and so, has sampled in bits of famous paintings from art history, just as a DJ might sample pop songs in electronic music.
About this painting specifically, the artist says “Kalki is now 57 years old. For the past 20 years he has been fighting and building an army. This is his moment of meditation prior to the final war. Bierstadt’s beautiful landscape provides the frame for Vasnetsov, Dalí, and the Murakami spitting out Rubens.”

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