Thursday, October 5

The Master In Downward-Facing Dog: Sikh Painting And Cultural Appropriation


David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps; Gurbux Singh’s Guru Gobind Singh; A poster based on Gurbux Singh’s painting, with added sword in hand
"A hand points over the mountains to Italy, or Kashmir; a man who is the French Emperor, or a Guru, urges us to follow. David’s painting of Napoleon can look ridiculous to us – the lead-guitarist mid-solo – but that’s because it was painted as propaganda, not as a true likeness. When Gurbux Singh painted Guru Gobind Singh a century and half later, he used David’s Napoleon as a model to convey a different set of ideas; ideas which have refracted into completely different meanings. It is only one exchange in a long history, speaking to the heart of contemporary debates about ownership and cultural appropriation. ..."
The Quietus

Ranjit Singh and the Golden Temple, by Schoefft

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