the Indian folk art of Rangoli
In November, at the Kids-for-Kids Family Carnival to benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation http://www.pedaids.org/, we had another opportunity to develop new face designs in support of an event theme. This year the event had a travel theme (“Journey to End Pediatric Aids”), so we offered to paint in our “World Mask” theme of styles from world cultures. The client asked us to go further and feature specifically the countries in which the foundation has its programs: the U.S.; several nations of Africa; and India. For U.S. faces we would include some iconic scenic designs like the Statue of Liberty and for Africa I have an extensive resource of mask and bodyart images which I could mine to find images from the specific countries involved. So I took this thematic opportunity to do some new research into inspirations from India. In addition to collecting some additional imagery from the elaborate theatrical makeups of the Kerala region, I did some image research into the art of Rangoli. Rangoli is a folk art that relates directly to facepainting, featuring floral and nature designs that are bright, colorful and very ephemeral, painted on the floor with colored rice, flours, sands or flower petals as an auspicious act, creating sacred welcoming areas for Hindu deities.
Click here for a pdf of the sheet of India reference images I put together for my artists: Face_Painting_IndiaImages_agostinoarts
The first third of my book, Transformations! The Story Behind the Painted Faces, chronicles my investigation of cultural sources of face and body art, and how I have incorporated those discoveries into my work.
To learn more go to: http://thestorybehindthefaces.com/books/
I painted the rangoli style peacock on the left, Naoko (I think) did the one in the middle, and on the right, Lorraine abstracted the peacock and mixed it with the images of the girl's shirt
Dimitrea painting a Kerala styled design
face by Dimitrea
My version of a classic bodhisatva image
Holi Festival cancept
I took this makeup for the god Shiva from a traditional illustration of Hindu writings
an example of the theatrical makeup from the Kerala region of India
from the Holi festival or "Festival of Colors"
Jennifer had the really brilliant idea of using the figures on one of the foundation's posters as the inspiration for these two faces
Lorraine painted one the musician's performing there in a Spirt Mask
based on a Ngere face design
Buffalo Mask, Bobo people
Jennifer and I were both experimenting with putting the full masked dancing figure on the face, rather than just imitating the mask
A Yoruba design, associated with healing
Jennifer's Yoruba inspired design
Surma people, Omo River region
Omo River region
Omo River region
The face styles of the various Omo River cultures are a continuing source of new designs