Art has been an integral part of Indian history and heritage for thousands of years. In fact, paintings found at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh are thought to date back 30,000 years! Over the centuries, Indian art has maintained its richness and versatility, thanks to a steady flow of talented artists who kept the artistic traditions alive. Here's a look at some incredible Indian artists who have been wowing the art world in recent times:
1. Bharti Kher – Inspired by life and its drama, Kher's art often oscillates between tradition and modernity. The big, red, round bindi features in almost every sculpture and installation that she makes. The purpose of this is both simple and complex: to question the role of women in society, and how they are perceived.
2. Shilpa Gupta – Ever evolving with time, Gupta interfuses audiovisual elements with performance art, photography and installations to bring her art to life. Her work depicts various themes that are relevant to the common Indian. Through her work, Gupta tries to capture and decipher nationalism, religion, desire, security and human rights.
3. Jitish Kallat – Kallat combines various mediums such as multimedia, paintings, photography, and large-scale sculptures with video art to depict human pain, suffering, hope and survival. Art dealer and collector Amrita Jhaveri writes in her book, A Guide to 101 Modern & Contemporary Indian Artists, "Kallat's paintings address the problem of painting in an age dominated by mass media."
4. Nalini Malani – Most of Malani's work is influenced by her experience as a refugee who lived through the Indian partition. Her art dares to go beyond boundaries and defies legitimised narratives with its use of shadow play, videos, and paintings.
5. Reena Saini Kallat – Like most contemporary artists, Reena uses more than one medium to create works of art. Dealing with themes like nature and human suffering, she often shifts between birth, death and rebirth. Her work depicts missing people, as well as places and monuments that have been disappeared over time.
6. Rajesh P Sawant – This artist believes that public art forms like murals are a celebration of communities and are meant to be treasured.
Recently, Sawant was drawn to the crystalline design of the New Skoda Rapid. Therefore, he decided to showcase his interpretation of the Rapid by creating a piece of crystal fibre with the New Skoda Rapid emerging out of it. Start exploring the New Skoda Rapid here.