Art May 17, 2008 By Sarah Coleman
newwaves New Delhi, New Wave

newwaves title New Delhi, New Wave

In 1980s-New York, players like Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Robert Mapplethorpe revolutionized the art scene. Today something similar is happening in India, where a new generation of artists is creating work that challenges cultural taboos on feminism, homosexuality, and class mobility. Rooted in Indian culture, using references that run from the Bhagavad Gita to Bollywood, these “New Wave” Indian artists are producing art that’s bold, bright, and refreshingly in-your-face.
     The fourteen artists profiled in New Delhi, New Wave (Damiani) have been carefully picked to represent the new generation. Some of them are friends, two are married to each other, but each body of work is completely separate and original. A lot of the work deals with sexuality, from the condom-embossed articles of clothing made by twentysomething designer/artists Thukral & Tagra to Tejal Shah’s gender-bending photographs of transvestites as female sex goddesses and divas. Video artist Sonia Khurana uses her large, voluptuous body to counter India’s dependence on Western ideals of beauty, while Kriti Arora’s huge photographs of humble road-builders make us confront a social underclass that’s usually hidden.