Plaited Thorns

Before reading the article I scanned this painting as a king and courtier munching a corona-bat monster that has been spitted and roasted. The courtier picks his teeth and licks his fingers while the king gnaws a bone ruminatively and ponders where he will take his next bite from.

The article mentions the painting as follows:

His brutal “Crucifixion” (1959), purchased by the Tate in 1993, showed a black, jagged-edged Christ, “scourged and dripping, with matted hair tangled in plaited thorns,” as Souza described it in his collection “Words and Lines” (1959).

I got the “brutal” more or less right in my first impression. Then there’s this:

“With a few slashing lines and a raw, expressive energy, Francis Newton Souza stripped away all subterfuge,” The Times of India wrote in a 2010 review of a retrospective of his work at the Dhoomimal Gallery in New Delhi. “Be it the sluts or the suits, the seamy side of life or the steamy, the gnomish, pox-scarred boy from Goa who went on to become one of the first Indian artists to be feted in the salons of Europe, laid it bare.”

(William Grimes, “Overlooked No More: F. N. Souza, India’s Anti-Establishment Artist,” NYTimes, 4-9-20)

(c) 2020 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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