January 2004 – Sacred Love by Krista Bard

This unique exhibit of abstract paintings is inspired by eastern philosophy and art of the Kama Sutra and Ananga Ranga. Stemming from the ancient Indian female-centered religious practices of Tantrism, the Kama Sutra was written by the nobleman Vatsyayana about the 4th century AD, as a guide to assist men in giving their women the gift of sexual ecstasy. The Ananga Ranga appeared at the time of the Crusades, and is specifically aimed at preventing the separation of husband and wife. Both books were translated and first printed in English by Victorian explorer Sir Richard Burton.

Krista next to one of the many well-endowed works in this collection

Krista next to one of the many well-endowed works in this collection

While western society has focused primarily on the Kama Sutra and Ananga Ranga acrobatics, body positions and techniques, these eastern teachings hold sex in much higher, complete regard — as a physical, emotional and spiritual union — through which we can experience expanded and enhanced states of consciousness. By merging ecstatically with your partner, you merge with the world and come closer to heaven.

Krista Bard’s goal is to capture the spirit, the energy, the essence of the Kama Sutra and Ananga Ranga teachings. All the paintings are black, white and red, drawing on the simple power of Asian style. The red mark on each painting holds her signature as well as the Sanskrit enlightenment prayer: Gate Gate Para Gate Para Sam Gate Bodhi Swaha, and heart-opening prayer: Om Ma Nee Pay May Hung,(also called the Jewel in the Lotus). Each canvas is treated with a mixture of oils and herbs; the paints used are acrylic; the specific posture is noted on the canvas reverse.

The idea for Sacred Love grew out of a discussion Bard had with a feng shui master about how to apply the Chinese discipline of color and object placement in designing spaces that foster relationships. That conversation was the sand in the oyster. Bard had an empty space on her wall, and Pearl Art Supplies had a parking space out front. The idea for the accompanying series Where We Touch came from Bard musing on how to define the places where people touch when they embrace; hence body monoprints, alone and overlayed.

Krista Bard’s earliest and fondest childhood memories were of painting with kitchen chairs as her easel, paper taped to the back, a palette of colors on the seat. She studied art formally at the Boston Museum School and Tufts University as a Leopold Schepp Foundation Scholar, graduating Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude. This PASSIONAL exhibit at Aphrodite Gallery is the second showing of Krista Bard’s “Sacred Love” series, which was unveiled at Perry Milou Gallery in November 2003.

Krista Bard is also president of Bard Associates Inc. marketing firm, president of Center City Proprietors Association, and a founding member of the Lithuanian Economic Development Advisory Council.

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