NUDES in Nepal

17 February 2010, Kathmandu


Kapil Mani Dixit is a different type of artist. He does not paint landscapes, nor trees, nor leaves. He paints nudes! Yes, and it sells too! Two of his works were immediately picked up at the exhibition by Dr. Arzu Deuba, member of the Nepalese Constituent Assembly.

When asked, “Isn’t your works difficult for the general Nepali to digest?” Kapil points out, “Nepal is not new to nude art - it is just a subject to be studied, which has been there from generations as we can see from the art works in traditional temples.” In fact Kapil explains that as an art student, everyone studies the human body one time or the other.

Kapil went to the States in ’97 to study fine arts at the University of Texas at Arlington. Initially he also used to paint the usual landscapes and endless Ganesh’es but finally landed up doing nudes. So why nudes in particular? Kapil explains that it is a challenge to portray the emotion of the live nude on canvas in just 10 to 45 minutes – the time that the model usually poses for.

The exhibition titled ‘Literally Figurative’ showcased 27 abstract nude paintings by 24 former art students and their professor, Chris Fulmer, of North Lake College in Texas, as well as Kapil. Senior artist Shashi Bikram Shah inaugurated the exhibition whose comment was simply, “It’s different.”