• Natalie

Raqib Shaw


Raqib Shaw is a Calcutta born painter which is influenced by classical art and brings it into a modern context. Unlike the traditional pieces he is inspired by instead of using a brush to paint these pieces he uses minuscule needle sized tubes to apply onto his composition which are often taken from renaissance paintings and reworked. After drawing out the composition of his piece each individual line is overlaid with gold separating each individual section so the paint he uses cam pool into it. Shaw has a team of assistants to help him complete his extremely intricate pieces. Along with classical art influences his art is influenced by his youth spent in Kashmir along with a wide variety of cross cultural references and his own life from Japanese culture to Shakespeare. Many of his pieces are self-portraits where he is made the protagonist of the most elaborate intricate scenes which would not look out of place in an imperial palace. In nearly all of his pieces which include himself he is depicted in an extravagant Japanese kimono which was gifted to him by his friend in real life often depicted with one or more of his dogs. Shaw is obsessed with Mortality since having multiple types of cancer in 2005 and recovering and his portraits are often filled with skeletal creatures as a symbol of everyone’s inevitable demise. Shaw’s melting post of influences from autobiographical to historical is an aspect of his work id like to continue incorporating into my own practice as autobiographical aspects are often where the beginning of my ideas stem from.

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