Before the battle at Kurukshetra the conundrum Arjuna faced where war with his brothers was the only option left for him, tore him asunder. In this work Aslam has brought all the elements of sovereignty, the fight for righteousness, the human condition itself, chariots drawn by the celestial horses of war with great élan. The overarching theme of the work is one of urgency and motion yet it suggests a tranquil understanding of his onerous responsibility, it is as if he holds back yet let’s his bow, arch, arrows and armoury show his earnest intent to war. The sections seem to suggest his transitory moods as Aslam uses various hues to emulate a great king, taking counsel and setting off to the great battlefield. Though serious the subject achieves a lightness of being through a great interplay of strokes and colours leading us straight into the greatest battle of all with swathes of colours and richness of strokes, evoking the eternal inner struggle between love and duty.

ASLAM SHAIKH
Arjuna’s Chariot of Fire
Acrylic on Canvas
54 x 80 inches
2019

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