Art Puja

Puja is a ritual performed by traditional Hindus to contemplate a sacred principle or ideal. Each month we aim for one live event which will be broadcast via Zoom, so that people all around the world may participate. The purpose is to introduce a new way to experience visionary art.

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Above ^ is not Botticelli’s ‘Primavera‘. This is a highly reduced, static screen display of a jpg file of a cropped photograph of Botticelli’s ‘Primavera‘ which is a physical object that displays differently in different kinds of lighting and has as much beauty in the details as in the whole.

If the visual aesthetic result of Visionary Art is the ‘skin’ that encapsulates a layered, living, breathing, beating process of conscousness, meditation, craft, aspiration, biographic material, prayer, transcendence, then how does a viewer best engage and experience a visionary artwork online?

By giving it shape, the artist translates it into the language of the present, and so makes it possible for us to find our way back to the deepest springs of life.

Carl Jung, CW 15, Para 130

The visionary art itself is a process which results in numerous outcomes, one of which is the tangible aesthetic artifact. How then can we best create the means through which traditional arts, such as painting, may be experienced in the digital age?

Dutchman Stefan Kasper won a prize to spend a night alone with Rembrandt’s ‘Nightwatchman’.

Revealing an entire painting at once as a photograph, onto screen, results in a stripping of its tangibility as an object, but also its context and atmosphere. Photographs of paintings on social media as ‘the new gallery venue’ may be falling way short of the potentials inherent in the digital medium for how we may experience artwork.

In times before television and mass media, paintings were given time as objects of contemplation. When we slow down, recieve a painting by allowing our gaze to play through the painting, exploring the parts and then seeing the whole, only to be drawn into a detail again, there is a journey, and a deepening of consciousness that occurs. It goes beyond whether one likes the look of the picture, it becomes a vehicle for contemplation.

Whilst in the life of the intellect ‘contemplation’ refers to thinking profoundly about something, in the religious life contemplation is a kind of inner vision or seeing, transcendent of the intellect, facilitated by means of practices such as prayer or meditation.

Wikipedia entry defining contemplation.
Eyetracking heat map of The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci   

Hence the Art Contemplations are a means to introduce a different way to take in a painting. Get 10 minutes to yourself, get comfortable. And take a journey deep into the art.