The Royal Couple
The diptych Royal Couple touches on aspects of colonial monarch portraiture while taking it into the realm of the surreal by exaggerating the glamour of 17th century court photographs. Performing and capturing the Maharaja, what would be in contemporary times the tricky balance of machismo and 10 pounds of jewellery, the pieces aim to reside in the space between comfort in a floating world and radiating virile power to the public eye, a spectacle. The subjects perform the role of King only with imaginary surroundings; there is no base for them to visualize the glimmering backdrops of their seats at the
throne, the beginnings of a contemporary embellished photograph. The medium of self-portraiture and portraiture is investigated as a window into the practices of the glitterati who commissioned a lot of the first portraiture around turn of the century India. By heightening the aspect of glamour into absurdity, the image of the monarch becomes elevated to the semi-divine and the connection between themselves and the public become sinuous, the gaze a downward / upward power play. The stage is set.