Bharti Kher’s is an art of dislocation and transience, reflecting her own, largely itinerant life. Born and raised in England, the artist moved to New Delhi in the early 1990s after her formal training in the field, and today, like most of her contemporaries, frequently travels the world attending to exhibitions of her art. Consequently, the concept of home as the location of identity and culture is constantly challenged in her body of work. In addition to an autobiographical examination of identity, Kher’s unique perspective also facilitates an outsider’s ethnographic observation of contemporary life, class, and consumerism in urban India. Presently, Kher uses the ‘bindi’, a dot indicative of the third eye worn by the Indian women on their foreheads, as the central motif and most basic building block in her work. Bharti Kher often refers to her mixed media works with bindis, the mass-produced, yet traditional ornaments, as ‘action paintings’. Painstakingly placed on the surface one-by-one to form a design, the multi-colored bindis represent custom, often inflexible, as well as the dynamic ways in which it is produced and consumed today. The artist is also known for her collection of wild and unusual resin-cast sculptures, embellished with bindis, and her digital photography.
Bharti Kher was born in London in 1969. She studied at Middlesex Polytechnic, London, and went on to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art Painting with honors from New Castle Polytechnic, in 1988. Some of her most recent solo shows include ‘Virus’ at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, in 2008; ‘An Absence of Assignable Cause’ at Nature Morte Gallery, New Delhi, and at Jack Shainman Gallery, New York, in 2007; ‘Do Not Meddle In The Affairs of Dragons Because You Are Crunchy And Taste Good with Ketchup’ at Gallery Ske, Bangalore and Project 88, Mumbai, in 2006; ‘Quasi-, mim-, ne-, near-, semi-, -ish, -like’ at Gallery Ske, Bangalore, in 2004; and ‘Hungry Dogs Eat Dirty Pudding’ at Nature Morte, Delhi, also in 2004. She was the recipient of the Sanskriti award in 2003 and has been a part of Khoj since 1997.
The artist lives and works in New Delhi.
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