mahirwan mamtani

︎Artist, Painting, Spirituality  
︎ Ventral Is Golden

“You yourself are the eternal energy which appears as this universe. You didn't come into this world, you came out of it, like a wave from the ocean. You are not a stranger here.” - Alan Watts.

British philosopher Alan Watts (who was one of the West's leading advocates and teachers of Eastern philosophy), explained the Hindu notion of the Godhead as an artist, such as an actor, who played his role so well that he almost fooled himself into believing it was real, such was the greatness of his art.Watts often used analogies of theatre to explore the concepts of his philosophical insights. One such example was the notion of Personae, an old Shakespearean term used to describe the mask that the actor would wear in order to project his voice through a 'megaphone' shaped mouthpiece. The latin roots of personae evolved from 'personare'; a verb meaning 'to sound through'. The persona then, for Watts, was a mask that we wear in order to project our voice and to perform our art. 

“A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to die he must first awake.” - G.I Gurdjieff.

In a slightly different context, Watts explained this idea in four separate stages of perception contained within the structure of a dream.
The first stage was said to be the longest, and also the most pleasant. This is where the dream seems beautiful and lucid. The second stage is not so long, but things appear to now be unsettling, and there's a little feeling of insecurity. The third stage, is not so long again, and this is where the beautiful and the anxious forces are equally balanced. The fourth stage is the shortest of all stages, and this is where the negative side triumphs and the whole construct is destroyed. This is the moment in the dream after you take the fall, and you awaken with a shudder, after which there is the notion that it was all 'just a dream'. For Watts and many other philosophers (such as Jodorowsky and Gurdjieff, for example) this fourth stage was also known as an 'awakening from daily life', the moment when ‘I am’ becomes the vehicle for a sensation of love not of this planet, the Atman (soul-self) of pure, undifferentiated, self-shining consciousness that catches a glimpse of itself whilst falling.

Although being clothed in metaphysics, these four stages of the dream are also considered the fundamental principles of drama. They are contained within what is called a Proscenium Arch, beyond which the audience resides. The Proscenium Arch, (often called the 'fourth wall') is the relationship between actor and audience, in which the audience can fully participate in their role of bringing the play to life. In other words, the audience are deceived into believing that they are almost as real as the drama. The two worlds of ‘reality being acted’ and the ‘illusion of the play being felt as real’, form at this intersection of actor and audience.

In the works of Mahirwan Mamtani, an Indian multimedia and graphic artist schooled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, he searches for the spiritual dimensions within contemporary art, in what has now been termed Neo-Tantrism.
In an interview with The Times of India, Mamtani stated that his Indian roots have a deeply spiritual aspect, and whilst in Germany during the 1970’s, he worked under the influence of Constructivism. Alongside his interpretation of Constructivism, came a new form that the artist referred to as 'the four circles of the mandalic form'. This would later become the basis of Mamtani’s idea of "Centrovision" - a series of geometric expressions on acrylic, wood and canvas that dramatise the persona in a geometric fusion of eastern and western philosophies. 

Further Reading ︎
The Times of India
Centrovision, book