Madam - Somehow it's less offensive with Indian godsLladro; a by-word for tat. Expensive tat, at that.

Hideous, wildly expensive white sculptures of little shepherdesses and winsome angels looking mawkish.

The whole thing reeks of Bournemouth B&Bs from the 70’s and aspirational stockbroker ‘Tudor’ suburbs. How the whole thing persists I have no idea.

The horror of it all is that it’s a luxury item. Really, have you seen how incredibly expensive it all is?

My mother was rather fond of the genre, though thankfully the marginally less tacky end of the market – regal flowing lines of white porcelain ‘ladies’. They did have a certain something, I suppose, when posed next to some blue irises.

But all the same – it’s porcelain tat.

My mother I might add, couldn’t afford actual real Lladro either – so we had some knock off variety. Thankfully the knockoffs were a bit more restrained and tasteful. Who’d have thought? Or perhaps more likely, those that were buying it for her were a bit more restrained in their choices. Thank you, sister dearest.

Anyway, in India, Lladro do a range for the local market. It’s eye wateringly expensive, so it’s aimed at the very upper crust. But the thing is… and it pains me to admit this, it’s actually quite pleasant. There’s Sita and Rama, as you can see above, and they do a stunning Ganesh, in shades of pistachio with gold detailing. And somehow, it all rather works with the over the top nature of Hindu devotional work.

Just between you and I… I really like it.

Can’t afford it mind, but I do like it.

Shhh, don’t tell anyone, I’ve spent years laughing at this stuff. If my art school cronies find out about it, I’ll get my taste card revoked… well unless I can make it all post modern and ironic, of course. Bring me the Chapman brothers if you would.

Mind you, it is of course, entirely possible that it is every bit as vile as it always was, and it’s just me that’s become Indian-ised. Most things here are considered in need of something a little fancy to make them work. I found myself picking up a kurta the other day – covered in rhinestones and three different types of patterned material. And at no point did I think ‘gads, this is a nightmare’ – no I thought, ‘shame the sequins aren’t a better colour match’.

Oh dear. It’ll be head-to-toe glitter and wall to wall Lladro before I know it.

Actually maybe that would distract from the excrescence at home…


If you’ve enjoyed this post why not read another ever so vaguely related one:

Reasons I live in India : it’s more colourful
For extra long prayer
Iconic architecture rendered in chocolate

Or share your thoughts on Lladro – tacky or fabulous? – below…