Thirteen is a photographic lightbox installation by award-winning artist George Chakravarthi, especially commissioned for the Swan Room of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Metro were pleased to be asked to produce the Duratrans
prints which were then mounted into lightboxes, the resulting collection producing jewel like images in the dark space.
Unusually the final images are created as a set of powerful self portraits in which Chakravarthi himself takes on the guise of some of Shakespeare’s most celebrated yet doomed characters: Lady Macbeth, Eros, Romeo, Juliet and Cleopatra, amongst others, all of whom meet their ends through suicide. Chakrathvarti seeks to project the emotions of love, honour, passion and pride, in the multi-layered portraits, being the circumstances under which these characters took their own lives.
Chakravarthi says of the project: 'The portraits are multi-layered and imbued with texture, created to present my vision of each image and character, revealing the beauty and anguish found across Shakespeare's tragedies.’
'Whilst I don't advocate unnatural, untimely death of any living being for any purpose, I am interested in the value and expediency one gives to one's own life and beliefs; this, it's evident, is a recurring theme in Shakespeare's plots and very relevant to the cultural and political, post 9/11 climate we live in today.'
Chakravarthi has performed and exhibited widely, including at the Royal Academy of Arts, Tate Modern and the V&A. He was born in New Delhi, India and now lives and works in London.