The Santa Monica Museum of Art has a new stock of Folk Art Obamas from Nepal.
Above is Barack Obama as painted by Sagar of Kathmandu. These are part of a limited edition that I commissioned in Nepal in November 2008, just after the historic election. Sagar signs his pieces with a Japanese script meaning Ocean - the translation of the name Sagar in the Nepalese language.
Obama the Green President by Sufraj. Alternatively, as in the case of the Folk Art Obama above, the artist may paint Obama in an idealized way. I had to keep telling Sufraj to make Obama darker. When I photograph Sufraj for this project, I always show him the photo for his approval. Often he shakes his head upon seeing his image and says "So dark".
When asked what he thought about painting Obama, Sufraj Khajka said that it was' ekdam mito', meaning that it was a very pleasing experience. He claims that he has never made such a 'personal' painting before. He also stated that he has never done a painting of such a powerful person as Obama.
Here Sufraj poses with a photo of his 3 Folk Art Obamas in the Santa Monica Museum of Art shop. He is very proud of his involvement with this project. Sufraj chose to become a signboard painter. It is more normal for the profession to be passed down as a family business. I believe that he is my finest calligrapher at present.
Sufraj also uses a lot of detail in his borders, where the red fades to pink at the top of the frame, and he likes to use a drop shadow for his lettering.
The Folk Art Obamas are available exclusively at the Santa Monica Museum of Art for $300. Each is approximately one foot square, painted with synthetic enamel on metal. Click here for more information about the Santa Monica Museum of Art.
The Folk Art Obamas show the depth of the artists' talent. They can and will paint any commission. The only limitation is your imagination. I have commissioned portraits of humans, houses, cars and pets -- even a movie poster on canvas for the re-released classic 'An American Hippie in Israel'.
This Fair Trade Art project is meant to help the endangered Nepali signboard artists to continue their profession in this digital age.
For more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to see more of the Nepal Art Dog project, go to NepalDog.com.