ABOUT THE ARTIST http://www.shankar-gallery.com/about.html
Shankar Art challenges the viewer to penetrate one's own being. It is only through this knowledge of the inner self that one can open to Shankar Art.
Let us enter the Sumi-e doors where we see the exuberance of the playful mind teasing the viewer to float, as if without a body, in fields of color. Boom! We open the vortex of the Black Kalas and are hurled into the depths of space. Our imaginations are challenged as we view images ordinarily seen only from some astronomical observatory. New, expanded universes open for us to view and explore.
Shankar Art speaks of Sumi-e and the magic of "the hand that is quicker than the eye." The spontaneous brush space and energetic color open the door and create a place for other unexpected adventures. Calligraphic gestured strokes and atmospheric impressions bring inner peace; shanthi. What subliminal message runs at the core of Shankar Art? We see signs, symbols and markings that indicate a realm we know intimately within our own being, yet never acknowledge as a sphere in which others might share the same feelings and sensations. From the markings, we begin to see networks and webs of structure that become rediscovered mirrors of our own minds. Current after current of this river of consciousness has been captured in Shankar's Sumi-e language, causing us to wonder about the artist and his experience as recorder, chronicler and reporter from the landscape of the inner mind.
What inner awareness does one need to approach Shankar Art? Imagine the time (kala) devoted to creating this art. Recognize that in taking time to study Shankar Art, we may be inspired to find a moment of peace within ourselves. This "time-taking" will also reveal the viewer's own power to create, to transcend ordinary expression. In our examination, we discover metallics here, metallics there, explained by Shankar as higher notes in the scale of the color palette acting in this play of transcendence.
In Shankar Art we see an ever-expanding window that reaches far back into human antiquity for its very basis of thought and being. Both Buddhist scholars and thoughtful students of the Adi Shankaracharya and Advaita will find these philosophies camped together in Shankar Art. Shankar reveals the divine as if by automatic writing or speaking in tongues. The brush moves as the artist witnesses. Nothing is planned; it is a matter of being present in the eternal moment.
Does this art really transport people beyond the ordinary mind to some special space? History will tell. We do observe that, in viewing this collection, we are touched in a way we do not expect. These paintings are like deep memories that are brought to consciousness for the first time.
There is joy in being the cargo in the hold of this ship, the SS Shankar. But where is this ship and its cargo headed? It sails through yatra, yantra and mandala and to the image-rich land of India with its own fanciful tales of enlightenment and guru teachers. At long-last we are docked in a port that forms a cultural bridge between the ancient roots of the rishis of the Himalayas and the cyber shores of modern western civilization.
To understand the quality that sets this artist apart, we must look back some thirty years to 1967. The TM movement had begun; the Beatles were sitting in Rishikesh trying to still their minds and the horrific Vietnam War was constantly in the news reporting the ever-rising death toll. Young Shankar, opening to a new world, found richness and meaning in meditation, the yogas, vegetarianism and Gandhi's faith in non-violence.
At an innocent young age, Shankar heard of the great yogis of the East for the first time: Yogananda, Bhaktivendanta, Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, Meher Baba and the wonderful Babaji, the eternal yogi. Stealing away in the back of a hippie truck, Shankar traveled west with a band of self-proclaimed, American yogis. As they crossed the country, these seekers spoke of Edgar Cayce's predictions and the end of the world while searching for a deeper meaning rooted in the spiritual. Scouring the Rockies, it was as if they were led by the spirit, to the Lama Foundation, high on a mountainside in Northern New Mexico. Here the touch of Neem Karoli Baba came into play; call it the enlightenment factor. Once touched, his story was no longer of life's mundane activities but of the possibility of the expanded aspect of human behavior known as enlightenment.
After Lama, the quest continued, Shankar's vision turned naturally then to India. He chanted the Hare Krishna mantra and had his first practice of devotional murti worship. He traveled with other like-minded aspirants, complete with UFO's, and kept company with all the books channeled by the masters: the Akashic Record, the Lemurian Records in rock crystal, Urantia and Oashpe. At 17, Shankar was reading his way through occult wisdom like an unaw