Mehandi (or Mehndi) is a form of Indian and Nepalese skin decoration using henna ink, lemon juice, and white sugar. Traditionally the use of Mehandi is for weddings and festivals such as Diwali, Bhaidooj, Teej, Karva Chauth, etc. Most commonly these designs are found on the hands and feet because of the lack of melanin in the skin in these areas. The idea of Mehandi is of a Vedic custom, and is an art form representing the “awakening of inner light”
This piece is entitled “Mehandi Mickey”, and falls into the “Around the World Series” representing India. In this painting, I infused designs from traditional mid twentieth century Mehandi design books that were intended for ceremonial use. Historically the symbols in this piece translate the following
- Flowers: Joy and happiness
- Leaves and Vines: Devotion, perseverance, vitality
- Flowers from the Fishes Mouth: Love at first sight
- Checkerboard: Moments and memories of joy.
- Eyes: Symbols to ward off ‘the evil eye”
- Zig-Zags: Abundance and wealth
- Peacock: Beauty
Also, there is two Mickey Mouse hats speaking in speech bubbles the symbols of flowers translating the ‘joy and happiness’ that Mickey Mouse creates.
Each sector of this piece has colors that connect with each other. The background is red with black drawings with white accents. The border of Mickey has a black background with white drawings with red accents. The face contains a white background with red drawings with black accents. This represents the common thread of intertwined continuity, representing that our character is not alone, but connected to every person, place, and thing in this world.
Hidden in this piece are also words in Sanskrit for love, happiness, and Mickey Mouse.