Monday, March 30, 2009

"Mary in Amma in Kimberly"

my Indian wedding sari

I had some errands today, including a trip to the art store for a few new pastels and pastel pencils, so I'll try for adding another photo of my progress on the pastel of Kimberly later tonite, but I promised to talk a little about my decision on it's title.  When we did the photo-shoot of Kimberly for the series of works I wanted to do of her, I had a number of white fabrics I used as veils, but I also tried putting my Indian wedding sari on her as another kind of Mary veil, and we wound up using this special sari in about 50% of the photographs I took.  I love my Indian wedding sari, and it hangs in the doorway of my studio these days.  I was told when I bought it in a small shop in the East Village that this particular kind of wedding sari is from the 1970's and is not made anymore, since the beads were sewn on by hand.  

It felt apropos for Kimberly to wear it, because it was Kimberly who introduced me to Amritanandamayi Ma.  In fact, Kimberly and her husband were honored to be married in 2003 with Amma performing the wedding ceremony.  

This was one of the poses that to me is a portrait of both the 'Mary' in Kimberly and the 'Amma' in her also, and since I've explained how, for me,  Amma is a kind of living manifestation of Mary, it feels like both in that way also.  Hence the somewhat mystifying title of "Mary in Amma in Kimberly".  It feels just right somehow.

I want to thank Kathleen Coy who yesterday was the third person to honor me with the "Passion for Painting" award.  It's truly an honor each time it is passed, and since I've recently responded to this award, and will be responding to it again for my miniature blog, (on April 5 after my painting sale), I'll simply recommend that you check out Kathleen's beautiful dog portraits, paintings and photographs.  Apart from appreciating Kathleen's creativity, I'm a little in love with her sweet dog Cloud too!


Kathleen Coy said...

Thank you for the kind words, Mona. And thanks for talking a little about the sari, and the beautiful photo. It is gorgeous, I love the bright colors!

I notice you've used Kimberly as a model several times. Is she a friend of yours? She is beautiful!

artbyakiko said...

Beautiful sari, indeed. It goes well with her dress.

DEB said...

What a nice story! I'm curious...Is Kimberly Catholic? I like your "Mary In ___" concept, but I've been wondering if all your subjects are Christian, and when you mentioned that she was married in an Indian ceremony, I thought I'd ask. One of my favorite books was Mother Theresa's autobiography. I was struck by how she too found the Mary within all individuals, whether they were Muslim, Christian, Hindu, etc.

Mona said...

Hi everyone, I needed to slow down for a day on Tues., so I hope to post more on my pastel later today, but I'll try to answer your questions by saying, Deb, yes, you got part of the goal of my series---Mary is in everyone, no matter what their religion is. That is just part of it, but I hope it will clarify itself further too as the series itself develops.

Kimberly is not Catholic and also not Hindu. In my video "Session on the Ruby Slippers," I was discussing how the parameters of what I am doing go beyond specific Catholic conceptions of Mary. In case it may help for anyone who hasn't seen "Session on the Ruby Slippers" about what inspires and motivates me as an artist, I'll add some clips from it to this blog.

In answer to Kathleen's question, I do consider all the models I've used so far to be my friends. Although it's true that Kimberly is very attractive, physical beauty is of course not a prerequisite for the series itself.