Alumna's 'Darshan' Photographs Wow Art Press in New York

Screenshot from Lens, the photojournalism blog of The New York Times

Screenshot from Lens, the photojournalism blog of The New York Times

By Anne Saker

The art press is beguiled by the vivid, powerful photographs by Manjari Sharma (CCAD 2004) of subjects posing as Hindu deities on display now in a New York City gallery.

For The Lens photography blog at The New York Times, James Estrin writes that Sharma’s photographs “reveal that the connection between man and god goes both ways. It is an image of a god, but the god is a human being.”

At The Huffington Post, arts writer Priscilla Frank observes, “The complex and colorful visual stylings, normally rendered from the depths of mythology and the imagination, take unprecedented physical shape before Sharma’s camera lens.”

The photographs, each 6 feet tall, went on display Sept. 12 at the ClampArt Gallery in Manhattan, and the show runs through Oct. 12.

Each photograph is a richly detailed capture of a subject bringing to life Sharma’s childhood connections to Vishnu, Shiva and seven others from the Hindu pantheon. Her photograph of the goddess Maa Lazmi or Lakshmi appeared on the cover on the Nov. 2 issue of Forbes India.

Sharma calls it the project “darshan,” meaning vision.

Born in Mumbai, India, Sharma studied media studies at CCAD. She now lives in Brooklyn. Other Sharma photographs have generated art-world buzz: “The Shower Series” was featured on CNN’s photography blog earlier this month.