INDIAN CONTEMPORARY ARTIST
- Born in 1956 in Bangalore, Karnataka, India
- Lives and works between Bangalore (Karnataka) and New Delhi, India
UNDERSTANDING THE ARTIST
Her work echoes subtle as well as overt political nuances. Most of her re-worked photomontages possess a quality of political subterfuge, questioning the inherent power politics that shaped the popular ideologies. In doing so she steers clear of a very formidable political message or implication, but manages to create an imbalance within power normative. Certain works by her, also question central political figures and structures. Her references to religious and class wars and the dichotomies and familiarities within history are a crucial marker of her political discourses within her work.
The body of the artist is an important aspect of her work. Working with various media, she presents all her concerns and pieces of negotiations through herself. She stands as the most pivotal display. Her own self is represented, worked and played at. It is not a direct representation, or an extension of the personal, but her canvas is her own body. Her body presents the duality of the subject negotiating history from within the work and as the creator questioning the history as an artist.
Reworking of acclaimed pieces of painting or cinematic stills. Pushpamala transitioned from a sculptor to working on photo and video performance art. She uses public memory as an important tool to recreate performance and use its popular affect in photographic imagery. Using popular culture, particularly Hindi cinema she revaluates, gestures, acts and costumes from another era lost in popular fiction.
Her work constantly revolves around pivotal narratives played by, or based on women from history. She uses archival material from Indian silent films, art history and other fictional narratives of popular imagination. The use of femininity is not only in the narratives, but also in her portraiture, the gaze and the construction of the archetype.
Pushpmala N., Criminals, 2003, photograph, gelatine- silver prnt on resin coated paper, 20 x 24 in
Pushpamala N., Phantom Lady or Kismet, 1996-98, selenium toned silver gelatin prints, 16 x 20 in
Pushpamala N. & Claire Arni, from the project 'Native Women of South India', work displayed at 'Poses and Views', 2013, Nature Morte, Berlin
Pushpamala N, The Spy (after portrait of Countess Castiglione by Pierson), 2009, giclee print, 39.4 x 31.5 inches
Pushpamala N, Outtake, 2000-2004, from the series Native Women of South India--Manners & Customs, photograph mounted in tin frame
Pushpamala N, Sunehre Sapne, 1998, a photo-romance, Modinagar..
Pushpamala N, The Fortune Teller (after Caravaggio), 2006-08, archival ink-jet print, 30 x 40 inches
Pushpamala N, Native Women of South India, 2000-2003, from 'ETHNOGRAPHIC SERIES- 2', Circus F-12, 4 x 6 in
Pushpamala N, Motherland, 2010, a performance by Pushpamala N and Mamta Sagar, in Kannada and English, ½ hour
Pushpamala N, Abduction - Nightmare, 2012, archival inkjet print, 89 x 130 cm