Bowdoin College Museum of Art
Bowdoin College
Bowdoin College Museum of Art
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Lewis deSoto's Paranirvana/Self-Portrait
June 26, 2008 - January 22, 2009
"Paranirvana/Self-Portrait", 1999 by Lewis deSoto, American, painted nylon and electric fan, Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego
Lewis deSoto’s massive twenty-six-foot-long sculpture entitled Paranirvana/Self-Portrait provides a wry and relevant look at the meeting of technology, spirituality, and biography. The sculpture depicts a recumbent Buddha (with deSoto’s own visage superimposed) and is inflated by fan every morning to its maximum capacity and deflated by night. Touching upon issues of spiritual transcendence and reincarnation, Paranirvana/Self-Portrait provides a unique reconciliation of mortality for both artist and viewer as it showcases the merging of Eastern and Western philosophy with notions of old and new.