MANIK RAJ NAKRA: In God's Kingdom
Deasil presents In God’s Kingdom, a solo exhibition of paintings by Manik Raj Nakra, at Poissant Gallery.
Nakra’s work tests the possibility of addressing the ancient world as his own. Imagery plucked from Indian iconography, artifacts from ancient civilizations, ceremonial myths and folklore coalesce with wild colors and stark compositions. Drawing upon references from contemporary painting, horror film criterion, and documentary footage of African safaris, Nakra makes connections between narratives from history and its accompanying fictions. Human dynasties and animal kingdoms are recast in a fable of the artist’s own making: here we find the passionate relevance between violence and lust.
Several works are part of an ongoing series, “Vampire Paintings,” which consist of allusions to the overwhelming power of romantic influence and humanity’s fascination with immortality. In these works, Nakra entertains the cross-cultural beliefs and practices that attempt to summon the power of blood; sacrifices, slaughter, vampirism, and various healing traditions essentially centered on elevating the human status. In God’s Kingdom fantasizes -yet alarmingly authenticates- the fragile struggles that have governed human history and plague our collective consciousness.
Manik Raj Nakra is a self-taught artist living in Austin, TX. Some of his Texas-based work has included exhibitions at Hello Studio (San Antonio,) The Public Trust (Dallas,) Co-Lab Projects (Austin,) and Texas Contemporary Art Fair. Nakra’s work has also belongs to national campaigns and collections including The Line Hotel, Facebook, and Converse.