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14 June, 2006

In the footprint of a holy man

The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama
"The Missing Peace: Artists Consider the Dalai Lama", an exhibition in Los Angeles of works by 88 people from 25 countries. In an article appearing on the web site, Kay Larson discusses an exhibit at the Fowler Museum:

In a recent portrait of the Dalai Lama, all we see of him is a foot in a blue flip-flop and a flicker of burgundy robe. To view this painting as a prayer for peace might seem a stretch. But not for the artist, Losang Gyatso, who regards the Tibetan leader as a world emissary of healing.

Mr. Gyatso, born in Tibet, has at least met his subject. Standing in line for an audience with the Dalai Lama in Dharamsala, India, he recalled, he realized that because most Tibetans in similar circumstances bend their heads in reverence, they see only his foot.

But what a foot. For one thing, it is the living reminder of an ancient lineage of footprints and handprints impressed into cliff walls and caves by Buddhist spiritual masters and adepts, who spend lifetimes meditating in the mountains.

The portraits, solicited over the last two years by the Committee of 100 for Tibet, the Dalai Lama Foundation and the curator Randy Rosenberg, range from the literal to the metaphoric.

• Read the entire article on the web site.
• Read a related article about this exhibit on the web site.

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