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mahirwan mamtani

︎Artist, Painting, Spirituality  
︎ Ventral Is Golden


An Indian multimedia and graphic artist schooled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, Mamtani searches for the spiritual dimensions within contemporary art, in what has now been termed, Neo-Tantrism.




British philosopher Alan Watts (who was one of the West's leading advocates and teacher of Eastern philosophy), explained the Hindu tradition's notion of the Godhead as an artist, such as an actor, who played his role so well that he almost fooled himself into believing that 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 perform our art. 


“The latin roots of personae evolved from 'personare'; a verb meaning 'to sound through'. The persona then, was a mask that we wear in order to project our voice and perform our art.” 

In a slightly different context, Watts explained this in four separate stages of perception within the structure of the dream. The first stage was said to be the longest, and also the best. This is where the dream seems beautiful. The second stage is not so long, but things appear unsettling, and there's a little feeling of insecurity. The third stage, is not so long again, and this is where the beautiful (light) and the anxious (dark) forces are equally balanced. The fourth stage is the shortest of all stages, and this is where the anxious, negative side, triumphs, and the whole thing is destroyed. This is the moment in the dream after you take the fall, and you awake with a 'bang', after which there is the notion that it was 'just a dream'. For Watts and many other philosophers (such as Jodorowsky and Gurdjieff, for example) this fourth stage was also known as a 'waking from daily life'.




Although seemingly metaphysical ideas, these four stages are also considered as the fundamental principles of drama. They are contained within what is called a Proscenium Arch, beyond which the audience resides. The Proscenium Arch, or ('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 the intersection of actor and audience.

“Alongside his interpretation of Constructivism, came a new form that the artist referred to as 'the four circles - a mandalic form'. This would later form the idea of "Centrovision."





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 70s, 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 - a mandalic form'. This would later form the idea of "Centrovision", a series of geometric, acrylic expressions of drama and personality, that fuse philosophies of east and west.

Mamtani was awarded DAAD (German Academy of Exchange Service) scholarship to study painting in Munich in the year 1966. Since then, he has lived and worked in Munich.



Further Reading ︎
The Times of India
Centrovision, book


Mark