JIVYA SOMA MASHE "DOUBLE FISHNET" 2008, ACRYLIC AND COWDUNG ON CANVAS, 138 X 237CM. COLLECTION AGNES B.

jivya soma mashe warli tribe
JIVYA SOMA MASHE AND INDIRA GANDHI 1976

Jivya Soma Mashe was born in 1923 in the Warli tribe, just about 200 km at the north of Mumbai. The story of Jivya Soma Mashe is unusual. Abandoned by his family from a very early age, he retreats into total silence. His only mode of expression is drawing. The daily practice of an art until then exclusively ephemeral and practiced at the only Warli ritual occasions, drew the attention of the first government emissaries, in charge of the conservation and the promotion of the Warli art. His talent was very soon noticed at national level, receiving directly from the hand of the highest political leaders of India like Nehru or Indira Gandhi, the most important artistic Indian awards, and then on an international level, participating to well-noticed exhibitions, including “Les Magiciens de la terre” in 1989.

jivya soma mashe magiciens de la terre paris
CATALOG OF MAGICIENS DE LA TERRE (MAGICIANS OF HEARTH), CENTRE POMPIDOU 1989, AND VIEW OF THE SHOW RICHARD LONG, JIYA SOMA MASHE AT MUSEUM KUNST PALAST, DÜSSELDORF 2003.


From this period of personal withdrawal, Jivya Soma Mashe seems to have kept an imaginative and outstanding sensitivity. The work on mediums such as paper and canvas allowed him to overcome the constraints of the steep and uneven wall surface. Jivya Soma Mashe has transformed the appearance of abrupt ephemeral paintings in a free and true style from which emanates his sensibility. This walk is as ubiquitous in Warli landscapes, with its innumerable tracks marking the ground, like the remains of an unfinished settlement, as in the paintings of Jivya Soma Mashe. In his paintings, the walk also fits in the form of tracks, most often represented by a single line. One or several lines that run through and structure the canvas, invite us to follow his always moving characters, his "walkers" whose rough and bold shapes evoke the silhouettes, also basic and decided, of other famous "walkers", represented, or figured, by Alberto Giacometti, Charlie Chaplin or else Jacques Tati.

JIVYA SOMA MASHE "AUTRES MAITRES DE L'INDE" MUSEE DU QUAI BRANLY 2010

Looking closely at Jivya Soma Mashe’s paintings, what strikes most is the "movement", the quality of detail, the lightness, and at the same time, the accuracy of the line. The hesitation does not exist in his work. The artist goes to the essential both in the drawing and in the composition, directly, bluntly, with the simplicity of evidence, ingenuity and the natural. Every detail of his paintings is testimony to this. The line and the points abound, in fact swarm on the canvas and fit together in skillful compositions, enhancing the vibration of the whole.


JIVYA SOMA MASHE 1997 ACRYLIC AND COW DUNG ON CANVAS 100X125 CM COLLECTION FLORENCE AND DANIEL GUERLAIN.

The detail and the overall composition of the work are one and another, serving the movement. The recurring themes of his work, the daily activity of his people and the Warli legends are also the pretext for constant praise of the movement.
"There are human beings, birds, animals, insects, etc. Day and night there is movement. Life is a movement." From his remarks, Jivya Soma Mashe, describes the deep feeling that animates the Warli soul. As Adivasi, the original inhabitants, the Warli speak to us of the most ancient times and evoke an ancestral culture whose indepth study might help to reveal some of the cultural and religious foundations of modern India.
Jivya Soma Mashe has stopped to paint in 1996.



JIVYA SOMA MASHE PHOTO ROMAIN MOUNIER POULAT INDIA 2010.


JIVYA SOMA MASHE, ANTS SPIRALE 2007, ACRYLIQUE ET BOUSE DE VACHE SUR TOILE, 120X150 CM. COLLECTION PRIVEE PARIS.