Sweet of imagination- Kerala artist creates lofty portrait of theyyam with confection

Sweet of imagination- Kerala artist creates lofty portrait of theyyam with confection

Artist goes by the name ‘Da Vinci’ Suresh has revived the traditional art of Malabar region- the Mukhathezhuthu (face painting) of the theyyam by conjuring up a 24 foot tall portrait with cookies.

Theyyam is a ritual art form of North Kerala which involves the narration of great stories of the State along with the magical realism cast by painted face of deity, dance, mime and music. It exalts the beliefs of the ancient tribes who gave a lot of importance to the worship of heroes and the spirits of their ancestors.

Pursuing his mission to create 100 different  portraits using non-traditional art material,Suresj created his 79th  artwork for Bake Story Live Bakery in Kannur. It took him 15 hours of hard work that included putting together tables, drawing, sorting and stacking cookies to capture the incredibly nuanced face of the theyyam.

The idea was conceived by the cookbook author and chef consultant of the bakery, Rasheed Muhammed to create awareness and appreciation for our own diverse traditions of sweet-making in a creative way,initially they meant to use just cookies made at the bakery but the artist had to use bread, buns, dried fruits, puffed rice and other sweets to capture the complexity and strike the resemblance with the mukha mukhathezhuthu.

As there was no use of color he had to recreate each line and curve accurately and had to research in order to get the patterns on the head gear and the face right.

In the past Suresh has created photographic portraits of celebrities, national heroes with everything from nails to gold ornaments, the creative process most often involves physical labour. His 80th and most recent portrait was of Mahatma Gandhi: he made it using over one lakh inflated balloons at the Kerala University campus in Thiruvananthapuram. 

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