Sunday, August 19, 2012

A world-renowned artist couple of India

  • Subodh Gupta has been greatly fascinated by ubiquitous stainless steel utensils used in Indian kitchens. He belongs to the new generation of artists who study and project the Indian identity on a global level. The mass-produced utensils like Steel lunch boxes or thali pans used in rural parts of India have played a major role in his creative processes. These utility objects project an ambiguous symbolism: whilst they are used in most households daily, they are seen as exotic and representative of the country’s culture in the West.
  • Emblematic of the proletariat’s soaring aspirations, the unique path India has been following towards globalization, and the distinct place it now enjoys in the contemporary world, the ubiquitous items tend to take on a new connation in his canvases. He harnesses these hybrid associations, allowing them to quietly resonate in the viewers’ mind.
  • On the other hand, Bharti Kher’s practice revolves around pangs of dislocation and transience, involving an autobiographical examination of identity. The evocative, deeply personal and layered images explore issues of tradition, identity and multiplicity. Her unique perspective and approach facilitates an outsider’s ethnographic observation of urban India - class and consumerist streaks - adding a new dimension to it.
  • Part of her immense international appeal is probably the highly developed sense of narrative, she exudes as an artist. While addressing a number of sensitive issues like class and consumerism, she draws on her personal experiences to reflect on these. The artist is known for her appropriation of the motif of bindi, a red dot on the forehead of married women in India, looked at as a curious fashion accessory in the West.
  • Using the bindi as her leitmotif, she spins engaging narratives via the exploration of personal space, identity and consumerism confronting traditional Indian society. The tiny red decorative dot with ritualistic significance serves as a means of transforming surfaces and objects. It brings to her practice a wide range of connotations and meanings in context of both historical and contemporary time frames.

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