Jaishri Abichandani
The Time is Now (for Chitra Ganesh)
2010
acrylic paint, fabric and swarovski jewels on canvas
An elegant-looking grey-haired woman dressed in dark blue smiles confidently at us. Her image is cropped, echoing the snapshot format of ID pictures and the official formality of public portraits. She is suspended against a silver, light filled background accented by myriad shining astronomical "Venus" symbols, commonly used to indicate the female gender and as self-asserting signs for women's power. Painted in red and bearing small Swarovski crystals, these repeated elements concur to suggest an almost magical space, and they rhyme with and exalt the vividness of the earrings she is wearing, themselves lusciously coloured swarovski gems. The woman portrayed is the current Prime Minister of Iceland, Johanna Sigurdardottir, the first openly gay woman to achieve such a position in the world, who this year married her long term partner of twenty years. All around the composition, white Swarovski jewels create small configurations that reiterate the larger geometrical form of the triangular canvas. The crystals' luminous reflections convey an aura around the central figure that turns the prosaic tone of its rendition into the glamour of a new Pop icon. The title refers to her slogan, 'My Time will Come', uttered after her previous defeat by her political rival.
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