Subodh Gupta was born in 1964 and is an Indian Contemporary artist based in New Delhi. Trained as a painter, he went on to experiment with a variety of media. He is most recognized by contemporary sculptures in metal that the artist creates, however, his work encompasses sculpture, installation, painting, photography, performance and video.
One of his recent major works, consisting of Indian cooking utensils, is ‘Line of Control’ (2008), a colossal mushroom cloud constructed entirely of pots and pans.
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.”
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 is appropriating everyday objects and turning them into artworks that dissolve their former meaning and function.
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Gupta says: “Art language is the same all over the world. Which allows me to be anywhere.”
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