In Of Beasts and Super-Beasts, Indian-born Raqib Shaw created a universe inspired by the Empire style typical of European – and more specifically French – art from the early 19th century. The anthropomorphic figures have heads like birds, crocodiles or even tigers, somewhere between gods and heroes. They hold bowls with griffon bases, pitchers with swan neck handles, and other avian-adorned pieces. These mythological man-animal characters evolve within precious and fantastical settings, fitted and chiseled like the work of a goldsmith.
The exhibition Of Beasts and Super-Beasts is currently on view at the Parisian Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac. Raqib Shaw’s works on paper, presented in the form of an installation, superpose wonders, curios and vanitas. Each work is a line drawing repurposed with ink and paint and then enhanced with enamel, lead glass, rhinestones, and gilding.