Send us an email

Erin Currier

Cave Temple Lovers

Acrylic and mixed media on panel, 24"h x 36"w, Item No. 21718,

“Beauty is truth, truth beauty— that is all ye know on earth, and all you need to know.”

John Keats

In an introduction to one of many books written about the one of the wonders of the world: the ancient Buddhist Cave Temples in Ajanta, India— sanctuaries that were excavated & painted by a community of Buddhist monks beginning in the 2nd century BC— Benoy K. Behl writes: “When one is present at the rock cut Buddhist caves of Ajanta, completely enraptured in the world of its paintings, one is reminded of those words of Keats. Indeed— for all the historical importance of the paintings of Ajanta, for all the doctrine of Buddhism, as it evolved through hundreds of years, for all the surprising and immensely sophisticated stylistic & technical developments in painting of which Ajanta represents the sole surviving inheritance— one cannot help but be completely immersed in the sheer beauty, both pictorial & emotive. Along with but above all scholarly considerations, a relationship with Ajanta is always one of the heart. It is impossible, even in a brief encounter with the atmospheric world of the Ajanta caves, not to experience a deep & marvelous emotional thrill. Indeed, the artists of many centuries ago still manage to convey their original meaningful message to the sensitive viewer of today. “

On a personal level, I am as equally & profoundly inspired by the breathtaking aesthetic beauty of the cave paintings, as I am by the philosophy and Path that the paintings depict: one that is timeless & universal in nature. The story of these paintings is the shared story of our humanity.

Cave Temple Lovers in particular is about that which is most timeless & universal of all:  Love . The  completion of the piece coincided with the 57th anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s ruling that laws prohibiting interracial marriage violated the 14th Amendment. This laid the groundwork for the 2015 decision to allow same-sex marriage.. The Humans I have portrayed in this piece, much like their passion & affection, could be from any time & place through the ages.. Both could be of any ethnicity, any gender, any nationality. . 

The background is rife with humor & sensuality: it is compromised of Hindi comics from India, Italian porn comics from the flea market Porta Portese, Tibetan yab yum imagery , a Chilean grapes label, a Sicilian wrapping from a blood orange, a Taos chocolate box & more...