The Mutka Chor
- Art Funded
- 18/21 Art Gallery Norwich NR1 1AB
American artist Waswo X Waswo has lived and worked in India for more than 20 years.
He is best known for the hand-coloured photographs he makes in collaboration with local artists at his studio in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
The three photographic works acquired by the Potteries Museum in Stoke-on-Trent are superb illustrations of Waswo’s practice. The Mutka Chor (The Pot Thief, pictured), Hanging the Wash and From a Neighbouring Village show models posed by Waswo against elaborate backdrop cloths painted by his collaborator Rakesh Vijay (b1970). Waswo’s black-and-white prints have then been hand-coloured by his other regular collaborator, Rajesh Soni (b1981).
Waswo studied art and photography in Milwaukee before moving to India. Vijay trained as a miniature painter and now works in a blend of Persian and Mughal styles. Soni is a third-generation hand-colourist and photographer.
There are also two miniatures in this acquisition which are a collaboration between Waswo and Vijay.
These five works now join the extensive collection at the Potteries Museum, where they have an immediate resonance with the many other artworks and ceramic objects with connections to the Indian subcontinent.
The work is one of a collaborative series by Waswo X.Waswo, Rajesh Soni and R. Vijay, known collectively as "A Studio in Rajasthan". Some of the series featured in an exhibition and the accompanying publication of the same title held at Coromand