%C2%A9 Baatarzorig Batjargal. Courtesy the artist and Jack Bell Gallery%2C London.
Acrylic on canvasexpand_more
The Larey E. Lindberg and Larey Swanson Endowment for Art Acquisitionexpand_more 2018.11
This painting combines pop culture, politics, and religious iconography in a style known as Mongol zurag, in which traditional painting techniques and materials are used to create contemporary imagery. It is a commentary on the changing status of tradition in light of rapid development and globalization, not least pollution. At the center of the painting is Vajrapani, a wrathful deity known by the vajra, or diamond thunderbolt, in his right hand. A traditional image of transformation and purification, the deity seems almost to disappear in the clouds of smoke around him, made up of intricately wrought, and often wry, figures and symbols.
This work is a rich addition to the museum’s collection, with its eclectic and meticulous inclusion of so many references and techniques connecting to other works from different periods and regions. As one of the best quality paintings in the Mongol zurag style, it also expresses a unique point of view, a captivating reflection on contemporary life and evolving traditions around the world.
© Baatarzorig Batjargal. Courtesy the artist and Jack Bell Gallery, London.