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Subodh Gupta

Updated: Mar 1, 2019

Artist 64

Subodh Gupta Sculptural installations Everyday objects

Subodh Gupta is an Indian contemporary artist based in New Delhi. Trained as a painter, he went on to experiment with a variety of media. His work encompasses sculpture, installation, painting, photography, performance and video.

Gupta is best known for incorporating everyday objects that are ubiquitous throughout India, such as the steel tiffin boxes used by millions to carry their lunch as well as thali pans, bicycles, and milk pails.

From such ordinary items the artist produces sculptures that reflect on the economic transformation of his homeland and which relate to Gupta's own life and memories.

As Gupta says: 'All these things were part of the way I grew up. They are used in the rituals and ceremonies that were part of my childhood. Indians either remember them from their youth, or they want to remember them.' And: 'I am the idol thief. I steal from the drama of Hindu life. And from the kitchen - these pots, they are like stolen gods, smuggled out of the country. Hindu kitchens are as important as prayer rooms.'

Gupta transforms the icons of Indian everyday life into artworks that are readable globally. He is among a generation of young Indian artists whose commentary tells of a country on the move, fuelled by boiling economic growth and a more materialistic mindset.

Gupta's strategy of appropriating everyday objects and turning them into artworks that dissolve their former meaning and function.

Subodh Gupta employs many of the original techniques of French conceptualist Marcel Duchamp by elevating the ready-made into an art object. Gupta chooses signature objects of the Indian sub-continent and relocates them as art objects in monumental installations of stainless steel and tiffin-tins.

We often forget the significance of things we use in our day by day lives. I’ve never considered how important a pot is or considered it beautiful. By changing how we view a daily item it creates a new energy in the art and makes it unfamiliar and such we look more closely at it.


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