Based in New York, Manu Kaur Saluja is an award-winning artist who is gaining attention in Sikh circles for her oil paintings and portraits. Her work entitled “Prasad” (an offering given to all visitors to a Gurdwara) will be up for auction at the forthcoming Sikh Arts & Film Festival in New York later this month:
This latest still-life by Saluja entitled Prasad will be auctioned at the 2011 Sikh Art & Film Foundation’s Gala on October 15, 2011 at Cipriani’s Wall Street. The still-life is an arrangement of sacred items shown before the ceremony of Kara Prasad (a “gracious gift” offered to all those who visit the Sikh temple, Gurudwara. The textures are richly depicted from the steel of the bowl, the softness of the Prasad, the wood of the Kirpan, and the red velvet of the book, Sacred Nitnem; all symbolic items during the ceremony.
I first came to know about Manu Kaur after the release of her 2009 painting of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (the first Sikh ruler of Punjab, 1780-1839), and while her portraits are not limited to Sikhs or Sikhism, I enjoy her expression of this inspiration in her art. She wrote an interesting article about the influences behind, research of, and symbolism within the Maharaja Ranjit Singh portrait at The Sikh Foundation’s website, in which she describes how she demonstrates her interpretation of his stature and place in history within the elements of her painting.