From Emily Esfahani Smith for Acculturated:
Manjari Sharma, a Brooklyn-based photographer, is not just an artist. She is a mythmaker. Her latest artistic endeavor, a project called “Darshan,” seeks to recreate the transcendent feelings that she experienced as a child in India visiting Hindu temples across the country, where the gods and goddesses of her religious tradition came to life before her eyes in mythic works of art.
Since 2011, Sharma, who believes that the spiritual quest defines art, has been working on Darshan, a series of nine large photographic representations of Hindu gods and goddesses that appear and reappear in the myths that captivated her as a child. The series, which will be showcased at the gallery ClampArt in Chelsea, New York, this fall, is meant to inspire a darshan in audiences—to stir the soul of the viewer in the same way that being in a temple, surrounded by the presence of the divine, electrifies the pilgrim. To date, Sharma has completed five of the nine portraits of the deities.