Thangkas are the primary artform of Tibetan Buddhism—and, in my opinion, the most advanced visual art form in the world. If you’ve seen these things up close—the Rubin Museum in New York City is a good place to do so—you know that Western art, outside of perhaps Hieronymous Bosch or similar artists, just doesn’t hold a candle in terms of complexity of discussing states and modalities of consciousness.
That’s why it’s particularly awesome to see them combined with that other world art form, superhero comics, in the work of Tibetan artist Gade, who swapped the Buddhas for the Hulk, Spiderman, Ronald McDonald, Ultraman and others.
The wild pop art of Tibetan artist Gade transforms famous superheroes into mandalas and religious icons. If you ever wanted to see Batman as a Buddha, this here’s your huckleberry.
Gade mixes Western comic-book heroes (and Ultraman!) and traditional Tibetan artwork to showcase the totemic status of superheroes and the effects of globalization on Tibetan culture. The below works are from his December 2008 Making Gods exhibition at London’s Rossi & Rossi gallery.
This is brilliant, and was just waiting to happen. Dear God nobody do a Twilight one, please. Please.