India is a boom country. In its restless search for ever-new trends, the international art market has discovered contemporary riches in the Indian subcontinent. Nothing fascinates collectors and gallery owners more right now than art from India. Currently topping the league is Subodh Gupta, a railwayman's son from Khagaul, and his wife Bharti Kher.
The dynamic duo have conquered the western art scene and can command prices rising to a million dollars. Both have mastered the global language of art and raise the culture of their country to an internationally comprehensible level in their works. Subodh Gupta's materials include pots, pans, plates and buckets used by Indian workers to carry their food and drink. Out of these everyday objects he assembles huge installations, like his gigantic skull "Very Hungry God" made for the Venice Biennale. Bharti Kher's creations revolve around the "bindi", a third eye worn by married women on their forehead. Using such coloured dots of varying sizes, she composes serialised pop art designs or uses them to decorate the skin of an entire life-sized elephant, as in her work "The skin speaks a language not its own". The achievement of Gupta, Kher and fellow-artists such as N.S. Harsha, Bharat Sikka and Jitish Kallat is to unite the images of their own culture with 21st-century modernism. One thing's for sure: the international art market is finding it hard to resist the magical realism of their Indian pop art.
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Read the full story by Eva Karcher on the international success of contemporary Indian art in THE MINI INTERNATIONAL