• Manju Sadarangani

Untitled Ganesh Project




Untitled Ganesh Project (Commissioned Piece)

36” X 36”

Acrylic on Canvas

October 2022





Commissions are special. Working with a client is always a symbiotic learning experience, an opportunity to flex and go beyond boundaries. As much as I adore Ekdantam Maha Ganapathi, I doubt I would have acquiesced to giving form to divinity if it had not been for a client.





From a practical standpoint, a commission usually means that a client has a specific space in mind, a locus to anchor the work within context. This Ganeshji will be gracing a workplace, so the four carefully chosen mantras allude to profit, gain, wisdom, and kindness. Embedded within this piece are 108 beej mantras for Maha Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and hard work.





In the last rough study I did for this commission, the playful lord was in profile. Having him look away made the old-school Hindu in me uncomfortable. When I stretched and prepped the final canvas, I made a game time decision to have the lord gaze lovingly upon everyone in the office. The piece is full of easter eggs, including a nod to the client’s logo.





On a personal note, the timing of this piece was fortuitous. My fine motor skills are recovering, forcing me redo, rethink, making me focus on how much I take for granted when I paint. Days of gazing lovingly at Gajanand, humming mantras, steeped in mythology, meditating in front of this canvas allowed for a shift in perspective. I remain so grateful for the opportunity to create, and love knowing that this form of my best wishes, hopes, and prayers grace the lives of others.






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