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Anjan Das
If you believe in something, follow your conscience!

Why we put Goddess Lakshmi on the Cover of Forbes India Rich List 2012

Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity (both material and spiritual). She is the harbinger of good fortune and is worshipped across Hindu households and commercial establishments.

In Hindu mythology, Lakshmi is depicted as the Goddess who showers coins of prosperity on mankind. She is also an embodiment of beauty.Her face exudes calmness and love, while her strong personality demonstrates the power of wealth.

The term rich in the Indian context implies wealth and power – elements that you see in the striking image of Goddess Lakshmi on the cover of Forbes India Rich List 2012. The idea of putting Her on the cover stemmed from one of my recollections of a fantastic project which New York-based photographer Manjari Sharma has undertaken.

Manjari is in the process of shooting a series of Indian deities for Project Darshan: A fine art series that aims to recreate through photographs nine Gods and Goddesses from Hindu mythology. These deities will be represented in six-foot long images. The final result of this project would be a massive print installation of these images across museums; this would closely resemble the experience of a Hindu temple, replete with incense sticks, lamps and invocations accompanied by detailed texts on each deity.

The use of a rarely explored medium like photography to preserve India’s cultural heritage lends uniqueness to this project which kicked off in 2011. To create imagery for Project Darshan, an exhaustive research on the deities has been undertaken. A team of 35 craftsmen from India has been formed to take care of props, sets, make-up, costumes and jewellery. The journey from production to fine art printing is a precious one. Every image in this series seeks accuracy in form and function.

Recently, I connected with Manjari for the image of Goddess Lakshmi which suited our Rich List cover quite magnificently. We’re both excited about this collaboration.

All those who have made it to the Forbes Rich List are blessed by Goddess Lakshmi. She’s steered them through times of economic uncertainty. She is their fortune, wealth and prosperity.

In summation, as Manjari says, “Diwali is approaching and it’s a blessed time for
Maa Lakshmi and Forbes India to have found each other.”

About Manjari Sharma

Born in Mumbai, 32-year-old Manjari Sharma was raised in the city. She relocated to Brooklyn,New York and works as a fine art photographer. Rooted in the study of relationships and personal mythology, her work has been recognised as walking the line of fine art and traditional portraiture.

She believes that an artist’s vulnerability and experience of culture shock can often transform a banal journey into an adventure. She has shot extensively in the US and India, exploring its mythologies and the people who inhabit these lands. Being Mumbai-bred, the sight of paintings of deities was common to her, but to reproduce them photographically was an ambitious task.

In the past few years, her wor­k has been showcased in several group and solo exhibitions in the USand elsewhere. Most recently, her works were exhibited in the Critical Mass show Across the Divide which had Todd Hido and Espacio Nudage in the Jury, and was curated by José Luis Callejo and Gloria Rueda.

She has also had solo shows of her work Paani at the Kopeikin Gallery in Los Angeles in 2011 and at Richard Levy Gallery in Albuquerque,New Mexico in 2010. Australian Centre for Photography in Sydney, Gallery 339 in Philadelphia, The Photographic Centre North West in Seattle, Kris Graves Projects in Brooklyn and the Center for Fine Art Photography in Colorado have also featured her work in group shows.

Manjari has also been invited to speak at the School of Visual Arts and the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City.

To view more of Manjari’s extraordinary body of work projectdarshan.com is a must visit.

Below are behind-the-scenes stills from the making of the cover and the Goddess Lakshmi photo shoot:

1.

Photo Assistant Dilnaaz Mehta sits in on sizing and proportions
for the Maa Laxmi set for Darshan

2.

Photographer Manjari Sharma (right) and Art Director
Aparna Raina select fake Lotus flowers for the set

3.

Aparna Raina finesses details on the elephants for Maa laxmi’s set

4.

The Drashan crew prepares for the photo shoot

5.

Sonam Bajwa get’s made up to perfection by make-up Man Sunil for the Maa Laxmi set

6.

Maa Laxmi’s crown get’s situated for the final shot

7.

The constructed lotus get’s it’s last touches

8.

 

The backdrop is put in place for Maa laxmi’s set

9.

The crew organizes the props for the final shot

10.

Manjari Sharma gets ready to photograph Maa Laxmi on a 4×5 Sinar alongside
Harish Valecha, camera and lighting crew

11.

Final Shot: Maa Laxmi, 2011, © Manjari Sharma, All rights reserved.

 

 

Hope you enjoy the edition as much as we did putting it together!

 

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Beautiful Concept !!! I would also like to add here that Laxmi also means abundance in knowledge, skills and talents. Lakshmi is the energy that manifests as the complete spiritual and material well-being of a person.You can also bennefit from bit.ly/ZsDDlq.
The girl is not appropriate for the face of goddess lakshmi. her eyes lack compassion and the face lacks the graceful look we associate with the picture of goddess.
India I love :) and Forbes India is helping to figure out how much! It basically because of the devotion of work of your team. I created perfection and quality. Best wishes to you and to me :) Because my love is never selfless and that's how I believe it shouldn't.
Its a Good work and My best wishes to Manjari sharma.
Thanks Sudharshan, I sincerely appreciate it.
Wonderful concept and amazing pic. Though people from Tuscany would prefer a Roman deity...
Rajesh Narayanan
Well done Forbes India and Manjari Sharma
Thanks Rajesh! Cheers.
Superb cover...luvd d way u have connected the theme of the issue to Hindu Mythology!
Superb cover...luvd d way u guys have managed to connect the theme of the issue with Hindu Mythology!
Sukhvinder Sircar
Dear Manjari, I am simply amazed and awed by this work. May the universe support your project fully!
Thanks so much Sukhvinder. I really appreciate your comment.
 
 
Anjan Das
“We live in a world where styles change constantly and fresh ideas are the benchmark. Professionals in every stream, especially design, must be aware of these changes and possess the flexibility and imagination to stay ahead of the trends”, yes that’s what my book of wisdom says.
Currently I am the Design Director with Forbes India. Been here since last September and enjoying every bit of my work thoroughly, not to mention the fun with my team at work makes it a pleasurable experience. Prior to this I have worked with different publications such as Travel+Leisure (Thailand), Rolling Stone India, Grazia and Maxim India to name a few.
I love conversations on design, be it conventional or out of the box; classy or anarchic; cleaner or clutter; print or digital; product or industrial. A sucker for typography and anything which has “a type” embedded in it.
Striking visuals, a perfect colour palate and the right choice of fonts are top on my checklist when we put every edition to bed, so I must
have to say “ business is good if the product is better”

Hope to catch up from time to time!
 
 
 
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December 01, 2012 18:31 pm by Alumna’s Photograph on the Cover of Forbes Magazine | Columbus College of Art & Design Blog
[...] To read more about Anjan Das’ decision to place Sharma’s image on the cover, click here. [...]
November 26, 2012 02:58 am by meghana
Beautiful Concept !!! I would also like to add here that Laxmi also means abundance in knowledge, skills and talents. Lakshmi is the energy that manifests as the complete spiritual and material well-being of a person.You can also bennefit from bit.ly/ZsDDlq.
November 18, 2012 11:11 am by Manjari Sharma
Thanks Sudharshan, I sincerely appreciate it.
November 18, 2012 11:11 am by Manjari Sharma
Thanks Rajesh! Cheers.
November 18, 2012 11:10 am by Manjari Sharma
Thanks so much Sukhvinder. I really appreciate your comment.