The folks at Mavi American Sportswear Inc. think beyond their Turkish heritage when it comes to art. The company recently changed the art exhibit at its store near Manhattan’s Union Square, installing a multimedia collection called...
The folks at Mavi American Sportswear Inc. think beyond their Turkish heritage when it comes to art. The company recently changed the art exhibit at its store near Manhattan’s Union Square, installing a multimedia collection called Shaktirama.
The exhibit, by the French artist Marc Alary, explores the impact of Western advertising and films in the Indian state of Rajasthan. The cultural interchange and adaptation in the exhibit is a mirror of what is happening in today’s global marketplace.
Shaktiwomaan, an illustrated super-hero character in the exhibit, is meant to embody the modern characteristics, energy and power of the ancient Hindu god Shiva. An illustration of her leads visitors from the window of the store, through the exhibit, which has been integrated throughout the main selling floor and downstairs gallery.
The exhibit includes a series of photographs taken by Alary during a three-month trip to India. They depict modern Indian advertising campaigns inspired by 1950s British advertising aesthetics, simple layouts with bright primary colors, and themes, the promise of happiness through material upgrade.
The advertisements are done in a traditional Indian wall-painting fashion instead of on billboards, which adds to the overall feel of simplicity. Moving from the photographic medium, Alary has created a replica of an Indian truck from which Indian music emanates.
The music sets the stage for the illustrated panorama of Rajasthan, constructed as a film set made of cardboard cutouts. It shows clichés of the region as it would be depicted in a classic Bollywood production, complete with the Taj Mahal, gods and goddesses, sacred cows and fierce tigers. A miniature version of the panorama opens the exhibitin the storefront.
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