Thursday, April 4, 2013

Treading a collective creative path, in their own unique ways

Themes, such as economic growth and materialism are intelligently conveyed through these objects that reflect partly his own life and memories, apart from dealing with everyday culture. They represent his concerns with fast-proliferating material culture as well as commoditization, and create quirky commentary on the values of rampant material production and consumption.

Bharti Kher addresses a number of sensitive issues like class and consumerism, and draws on her personal experiences to reflect on these. Her ‘Lady with an Ermine’, first exhibited by Nature Morte and then Gallery SKE earlier this year, continues her exploration of female archetypes which was initiated with the sculpture “Arione” of 2004. Enigmatic and inherently contradictory, as a press release elaborated, the installation holds multiple references intimately within herself.

While on trip to see her extended family, she fell in love with Subodh Gupta. Incidentally, she had been to India only once prior to that visit. The two got married and now have two children. For them, there are seldom any off-topics at home; art and markets are mostly dinner-table talk.

Summing up the essence of their fruitful life as artists and as a happily married couple, Gayatri Rangachari Shah of The New York Times narrated in a recent essay: “When Wallpaper magazine published a limited-edition cover of the two powerhouse artists posing in traditional Indian wear, the photo was, in her words, “so clichéd, I titled it, ‘In another life.”’

The cover was true to form for the both who use traditional references expressly to create works of art that turn conventions upside down. This is where the similarities between the two artists end - the works themselves are wildly different. But they say the fact that they share the same profession fuels their creativity.”

Though the two artists are often invariably compared to each other, both tend to tackle their themes and work differently. If she mulls over and considers her ideas for long periods, he, once inspired, goes about it and works quickly. Though Subodh Gupta and and Bharti Kher tackle their themes and work differently, the fact that they share the same passion spurs their creativity and increases understanding as well.

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