Artist Statement: My recent works are a series of self portraits which I hope will resonate with most people, because they talk about my insecurities, my desires, and even the mundane, every day things that happen to us. I illustrate my reactions to these in ways that express both mood and madness. Sometimes I watch a news story that upsets me and all I want to do is just change the channel. Forget about it. But it’s unavoidable. It pops up everywhere, conversations, Whatsapp forwards, phone notifications. It’s madness that won’t let you forget. That inspired me to make the ostrich illustration. Similarly, the illustration of gender in the unveiling figure is inspired by the work of 12th century poet Sathyakka (who was a Bahujan woman and a part of the Sharana movement) and it is a response to the restrictions on gender identity in our country not in the least dictated by the draconic Section 377. Here is part of Sathyakka’s poem:
It is not necessarily true that a person with long hair and breasts is a woman,
Nor that wearing a beard and carrying a dagger makes one a man.
This is the way of the world and not of the wise.
It’s the sweetness which makes a fruit,
The fragrance that makes a flower.
Only you know this secret, Shambhujakkeshwara.
Artist Bio: I am a self-taught visual artist based in New Delhi. I worked as a communication designer for several years after which I left to start my own art practice. I’m influenced by traditional Indian folk motifs and art and it’s a clear stamp of my own style. I love playing with colors, especially big bold ones but my recent work has been mostly black and white which serves as a nice mix of both restraint and freedom, at the cusp of which most art treads.