Meenakshi Sengupta

Appropriating a variety of familiar motif and themes from both Indian and Western pictorial tradition, I re-contextualize them in light of contemporary issues. I deliberately combine icons of “High” art and those of mass culture with wit and irony to redefine their role as cultural signifiers. The fundamentally hybrid character of my work subverts the obsolete “tradition/modernity”, or “Indian/western” dichotomy. It undermines the perception of art as a mirror of a state of cultural purity, and underscores its discursive character as shaped by history and culture. While working with the icons of Indian
Mythology, I came across different local myths and the fantasy regarding them. I look at and study the position of women in the light of religious, historical, social, political, local myths of today and years back. Being at Indian Painting Department during Bachelors (BVA) at the Government College of Art and Craft, Kolkata, My exposure to court painting was a given. My works gradually shifted from my earlier practice and become more concentrated on elements that propagate stereotypes of the ideal woman image and the constructed politics around this stereotype.

During my postgraduate studies in Vadodara, Gujarat I got the opportunity to explore a vast range of media which helped me understand the possibilities of using different media in my work. My inquiries are chiefly on how a constructed myth reflects and manifests itself in the behavior of the modern woman – that even today, women are barely aware of their own desires and choices, and complies with societal norms.

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