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Indian Contemporary Artist
London, England and working in
Nature Morte, New Delhi
First Solo show 1993 Delhi
Exhibit 1990 England
Years in practice 30
Graduation 1991 UK
Bharti Kher is mostly known for her colossal sculptures but works in a variety of mediums. Her most significant trademark is the use of the traditional Indian bindi which she uses in her works of all mediums.
Foundation Course in Art and Design Newcastle Polytechnic, BA Honors, Fine Art (Painting) - 1988
Middlesex Polytechnic, Cat Hill, London -
Artist of the Month
Bharti’s bindis are potent symbols for her conveying profound philosophical associations, indicating the third eye (unique vision) of a woman that as a medium the artist has developed an appetite for. Even when stripped of their existential value, bindis possess the strength to survive as an aesthetic entity.
Bharti first encountered this simple forehead decoration when she visited the markets of Delhi and saw the sperm shaped bindis that women wore so boldly. She then soon began to internalise them in her artistic vocabulary. Apart from bindis as an archetypal presence for Bharti in her works, she uses saris and bangles in her artworks to pose relevant political and social questions. In her works with saris, she refrains from using a body to drape the traditional garment around but uses structures like pillars, chairs and ladders instead. This absence of a body offers the viewers multiple openings for interpretations about sexuality and desire. Bharti is intuitively drawn towards generous sizes and prefers creating large works over smaller ones, although her earlier works were smaller in scale.
The largeness of her works immediately catches the attention of the viewer and encourages a more physical interaction. Bharti’s artworks also show her attraction towards animal subjects, appearing quite consistently in her oeuvre, which expresses her concerns about moribund animals such as the blue-sperm whale and elephants. Bharti’s works survey the patriarchal society and its codes. The domestic tyranny against women, the multiple roles essayed by women, repression of women in contemporary India, problems of sex and gender are all intimate concerns in Bharti Kher’s works.
Bharti’s artworks are elaborate and the process of creation equally prolonged. She has a flair for meticulous details. She often uses found objects that are briefed by her position as an artist located between geographic and mise-en-scène, which turn her work into explorations as she creates the viewer’s relationship with the object and initiates a dialogue between them.