Nimesh Dutta’s ‘Kumari’ is a work of art, but her nude selfie of a Buddhist temple’s kumari tree is more than just an art piece.
The piece, made in response to a call for artists to show their nude work in India, was exhibited at the International Center for Fine Arts in New York City on Sunday, November 23.
In her essay on the work, Dutty describes the kumarri as “the perfect place for a nude selfie, since it’s a place where the gods and goddesses are enshrined.”
The artwork was originally commissioned by the Bodh Gaya Buddhist temple in Gujarat.
The artist says she’s hoping that the artwork will spark a conversation about the importance of nudity in art, and the importance the Buddha’s teachings placed on nudity.
“It’s very important to have a discussion about how we treat each other and how we express ourselves,” Dutt says.
“For me, it’s about showing people, that our skin, our bodies, are not just things that are beautiful, but also a reflection of ourselves and of our spirituality.”
In Dutts essay, she notes that her work includes depictions of the body and sexuality as well as of the importance to respect people’s bodies, particularly women.
“The kumaran, which is sacred to the temple, has a long history of being a place for people to have private moments with their deities and their ancestors,” she says.
Dutte also says that she hopes to inspire other artists to take their nude selfies in India.
“I hope people will take their naked selfies in their own spaces,” she said.
“They can see themselves in their work and not be ashamed of it.”
She also encourages others to use their own naked selfies, and to take selfies with their parents or guardians.
“If you’re doing something with your own body, and it’s beautiful, why don’t you take your photo and share it?”
If you have an idea for a piece of art that you’d like to see more discussed, you can submit your artwork to Duttedatas Artspace.