Subodh Gupta – art with a clink and clank!

Subodh Gupta, is one of my favorite Indian contemporary artist, stirring up art based on the everyday Indian life. Gupta’s work deals with the socio-economic status and growing materialism in India. There is a plethora of information on his work here.The artist reflects his views and memories through these everyday items, found in most Indian households, hence allowing people to connect to. ‘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.’

I find all his work intriguing and exciting, but will share a few of my favorites….

                                                                                ‘Very Hungry God’, installation, by Subodh Gupta

‘Very Hungry God’ is 1000 kilo sculpture, made from aluminum vessels. Gupta was inspired by a story he heard, of how a church on the outskirts of Paris, would serve pork in the soup, so that the growing muslim immigrants wouldnt be able to have it (what kind of charity stunt is that?), so in response he created this skull- which has many connotations, and served dal on the inaugural night, as a form of prasad. The sculpture on its own in lifescale and I would imagine would be quite thought provoking to any one who stood next to it.Gupta also managed to create iconic symbols with everyday items through these installations.

                                                                                                   ‘Untitled’, Oil on canvas, Subodh Gupta

 What I like about Gupta’s paintings, are that he transforms the invaluable to valuable. The iconography that he creates, also creates a sense of  innate relation. His usage of space and realistic color, adds a sense of reflection in the viewers mind. A reflection of  image, that would be so common to any Indian.

                                           ‘Vehicle for Seven Seas’,bronze and aluminum sculpture,Subodh Gupta    

 I had seen this sculpture, at the Jenhangir Art Museum in Bombay, a few years back, and was in complete awe of it! I remember I thought ‘how can just a strong/hard material look so soft’, but thats exactly why Gupta is one of my favorite artists, cause he evokes a sense of  inquisition in you. I like this sculpture alot, because I feel I can relate to what Gupta wanted to depict,  ‘there is something intimate about personal luggage’. It deals with the emerging phenomenon of migration, that occured a few years back. The luggage always seems like a miniature home, for those migrating, a few valuable items, always closely attached to the traveler. A modern day nomad……

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