Monday, 12 December 2011

India, you're my love song

© Karen Knorr's The Peacemaker

”India, you're my love song” incessantly shouted The Psychedelic 
Furs' frontman Richard Butler years ago in a memorable 
gig in Florence at Tenax club keeping alive the country's 
wealth of inspiration provided to artists of all times.

© Karen Knorr's Life After Death

India's multitude of vibrant traditions, religious beliefs, myths,
lifestyles and colors inspired Chanel's pre-fall 2012 collection
and its 'Paris-Bombay' themed presentation show at Paris
Grand Palais last week with models gliding down a ring-shaped
runway between two munificent, princely banquets that made
me think of Maharajahs' palaces and therefore to Karen Knorr's 
latest work, ”India Song”, a wondrous series of magical, carefully
crafted images of wild animals in the lavish interiors of northern 
India's heritage sites. That's why I put them together.

© Karen Knorr's A Place Like Amaravati

Uniquely mixing analogue and digital photography, the
German-born photographer who was raised in San Juan
de Puerto Rico and educated in Paris and London explores
Rajput and Mughal rich cultural legacy and its relationship
with the caste system and its rigid hierarchies,
feminine submissiveness and the animal world.
Karen Knorr's ”India Song” is currently showing at 
Danziger Gallery in New York in the visual artist's
first solo exibition in the US.

© Karen Knorr's The Messenger

Counter to Karen, Karl Lagerfeld has never been to India
yet he dazzlingly evokes it trough classic silhouettes,
smoky kohl makeups and pearl-laden suits (in tweed),
Nehru-collared ivory silk tunics (worn over soft leather
bootlike leggings), clotted silver embroideries and
sari-style sweaters reinterpreted through the 
Parisian brand's quintessential chic.

© Karen Knorr's The Joy of Ahimsa

Even Karen's pictures are meticulously styled considering
both men's and women's spaces in Rajasthan's palace
architecture: interiors are carefully reproduced with
an optical bench camera and scanned to high resolution
while live animals are digitally inserted in turning 
cranes, tigers, leaf monkeys and elephants into 
avatars of historic characters.

© Karen Knorr's The Private Audience
> all Chanel images via <
India's cultural diversity is steeped in history yet still able
to mesmerize outsiders as well to offer an inexhaustible
source of inspiration for artists and designers of 
every kind.  Thank you, Ind!a. 

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