Waswo X Waswo

Waswo X. Waswo is an American photographer and poet, while R Vijay (short for Rakesh Vijayvargiya) is a miniature painter from Udaipur. Together they collaborate to create contemporary miniatures whose composition and style are reminiscent of, and sometimes deliberately evoke, Mughal or Rajasthani miniature paintings. Their subtext and subject, however, touch upon the here and now - the legacy of colonialism, the problem of refugees, environmental degradation, and such like. The miniatures are multi-layered with a dense narrative characterised by exquisitely wrought and minutely detailed borders. As with ‘A Pleasant Day’, Waswo himself is the protagonist in many of the paintings, dressed incongruously in a white suite, or polka-dotted underwear, in a mise en scene stereotypical of the white male tourist/colonialist confronted by and confronting exotic India. A gentle, self-deprecatory humour runs through the work, inviting viewers to smile at and with the artist. The artists live and work in Udaipur.