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Artist Profile1
A trio of talented artists shines in New York
Three artists with proven credentials, currently located in India: Avinash Veeraraghavan, Sakshi Gupta and Mariam Suhail, are in spotlight thanks to a recent showcase of their works at the New York-based Tilton Gallery. Among them, the latter’s work largely revolves around the incidental, mostly undocumented minutia of the everyday, conversations, media and culture. In her sculpture, video, text, drawing and digital images, she employs visual language from these diverse sources so as to dissect, reassess and re-present what might exist in the spaces existing between exchanges, ideas, historical events as well as daily occurrences. Originally from Islamabad in Pakistan, she now lives and works in the garden city, Bangalore.

Suhail (born 1979) completed her degree in fine arts from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi. Her works were recently exhibited at the NGMA, Delhi as part of the ‘Skoda Prize 2012’ presentation apart from shows at GALLERYSKE, Bangalore; Gallery BMB, Mumbai (2010), Anant Art Gallery, Delhi (2007) and the National Art Gallery, Islamabad (2007), among others. She has been part of the Tanera Mor 3-island International artist residency in Scotland (2007) and also that of the Khoj International Artists' workshop, Mumbai (2005). She has taught at the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture, Karachi and the School of Visual Arts and Design, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore.

On the other hand, Sakshi Gupta's pieces stem from an earnest desire to tackle certain turning points while facing a confrontational moment in life when one is required to make a tricky choice - either to channel one's entire energies to prod further and overcome the challenge or to sink further and hit rock bottom. Her sculptures of animalistic creatures render this tendency in a subtle metaphorical way. Whether a little elephant wrapped in its own trunk, caught in the suffocating act of trying to soothe itself or a wild boar with all its animal ferocity, her sculptures come across as unambiguously affirmative works. As with one that captures a plant-like form’s transformation into a bird; to suggest that intrinsically vulnerable beasts attain relief through transformation.

The work marks the ephemeral moments of a break or shift and portrays the struggles demanded of change through altering, shedding and mutable layers. The talented sculptor (born 1979), based in Delhi, had a solo (Become the Wind) at GALLERYSKE, earlier this year. She has featured in group shows including ‘Indian Highway’ (curators: Gunnar B Kvaran, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Julia Peyton-Jones shown) at Beijing’s Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (2012); ‘Shadow Lines’, Biennale Jogja XI, (2011); ‘Homespun’, Devi Art Foundation, Delhi NCR (2011); apart from exhibiting at Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna (2011); and ‘Paris-Delhi-Bombay’ at Centre de Pompidou’, Paris (2009). A recipient of the Inlaks International Scholarship (In 2007), she has also won the Illy Sustain Award (2011) and the Civitella Ranieri Fellowship (2011-12).

Last but not the least; Avinash Veeraraghavan looks to draw on his keen interest in the visual idiom of prevailing popular culture and deft digital imaging for his multichannel video installations, graphic books and layered prints. An accompanying note to the show elaborates: “He is interested in images of all kinds, from photographs, patterns in print and textiles, wallpaper patterns, and wrapping paper to motifs taken from different cultures. The artist constructs his works through meticulously manipulating digital images that are skillfully layered and juxtaposed to open up new possibilities of meaning. These complex visual collages reflect a deep-rooted and often manic exploration of the structure of emotions and the interstices of the mind."

Veeraraghavan (born. 1975), who lives and works in Bangalore, has earlier shown his work at GALLERYSKE and Galerie Krinzinger, Viennaw York. He has featured at the 2011 Prague Biennale in its ‘Crossroads: India Escalate’ section; ‘Indian Highway’, Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark (2010) and Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo (2009); ‘Still Moving Image’, Devi Art Foundation, Delhi; and Hangar Bicocca, Milan, among other venues. A recipient of the Illy Sustain Art prize at Arco, Madrid in 2009, he terms his oeuvre as 'psychic shimmers' sans narrative, albeit derived from intriguing images of the flotsam and jetsam of peculiar everyday situations.

He presented his works in a group exhibition courtesy Gallery BMB that invited five artists from GALLERYSKE in October 2010. The artist then had mentioned that repetition of a single object, image or action over creates a pattern, explaining, “Patterns repeated over and over again in combinations one with the other create an image. This rule of construction constitutes the structure of all the works shown here, where layers of patterns are overlaid one on top of the other to create images and stories. The stories I tell are of decay and dead spirits, archeology and memory, purity and it actual constituents in horror, sex and castration.”