Alkemikal Soshu


Hermaphroditos Salmacis oil on canvas 26 x 26 in. 2012

Hermaphroditos Salmacis involves the Greek myth of the nymph Salmacis, who raped Hermaphroditos, the beautiful son of Hermes and Aphrodite. The “union” transformed Hermaphroditos into an androgynous being from whom the word hermaphrodite derives. Writes Soshu:
The mystical derivation would be the belief in holistic transcendence by a union of opposing energies. A completeness and synthesis of opposites. Aphrodite is associated with beauty, Hermes with literature and poetry. Hermaphroditos is the outcome of both, but in male spirit. I think Salmacis is the integration of the female in the symbolism.

Soshu lives in Kathmandu, he has never been to the US or much outside the subcontinent so far as I know. His entrance upon the Brooklyn scene was brazen, obstinate, opinionated, and entirely by way of facebook. Yet an entrance it most certainly was, and I am strongly of the opinion that Soshu’s is a bracing contribution to the discourse of abstraction and synthetic art.

His early work was inflected by what he calls the “low brow” movement, a kind of international brew of comic, decorative, and graphic art. With surprising speed, and in relative isolation, he put together a fighting palette. The shrewdness of this maneuver impressed me. Irony and panache were achieved that take many a New York artist a decade to achieve. This is thinly veiled by the Himalayan flavor of the paintings, and even that is a conceit. A conceit, no less, that confers mordant humor and originality to Soshu’s canvases.

Unhurried Antinomies, June 2014
Alkemikal Soshu – Inventory and Prices
Spring Salon, March 2016