When Trump, Putin, Kim Jong-un turned Gods at India Art Fair


New Delhi: All roads at India Art Fair here led to the Nepal Art Council booth where world leaders Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong-un were turned into Buddhist Gods by a Nepali artist who brilliantly captured the global political tide in his tongue in cheek satire.

A multi-disciplinary artist, Sunil Sidgel has created portraits of the three leaders in the traditional Nepali Paubha painting style, ideally used to paint images of Gods, but a fly on each of these images is what takes the viewer aback indicating the satirical undertone.

The series of artworks titled, “Peace Owners II” sees the juxtaposition of the global contemporary socio-political affairs around the world with the local Nepali flavour using symbols and elements of traditional Buddhist motifs.

“It is a statement of satire that he is playing into the world of global politics. He has taken from our traditional painting style which we use only to depict gods.

“He has glorified them to the status of Gods with the halo behind them and the hand mudras, as if showering blessings.

But, the satire is that the fly is sitting on them,” says Swosti Rajbhandari Kayastha, who has curated the artworks at the booth.

The preceding series titled “Peace Owners” that the artist painted in 2016 had an image of former American President Barack Obama in place of Donald Trump.

Best known for his critical representation of politics with a pinch of salt, the artworks reflect Sidgel’s “postmodern” vision that he executes with a painting technique that speaks to the “fragility of the human condition through political, religious and personal overtones”

“His vision keeps his works rooted within very powerful discourses that finds meaning in the larger context,” says Kayastha.

A recipient of the ROSL Annual Scholarship Award, the artist has represented Nepal in major international shows including Moesgaard Art Museum in Denmark (2016), Colombo Biennale, Dhaka Art Summit among others.


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