BHUPEN KHAKHAR (B. 1934) Cabinet and the Shiva Signed and dated in Gujarati lower right Oil on canvas 44 1/8 x 33 in. (111.9 x 83.8 cm.)
Artist or Maker
BHUPEN KHAKHAR (B. 1934)
Bhupen Khakhar, Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, Exhibition Catalogue, 5 March - 11 May 1986, illustrated.
Formerly in the Procter and Gamble Collection, Mumbai.
Bhupen Khakhar's painting is deeply rooted in Indian life, and in particular, with the tastes and concerns of the middle class with whom he identifies. The present work shows a wooden cabinet; a typical example of a 'showcase' that would be in most middle class homes with appropriately selected curios prominently displayed. However, Khakhar has changed some of the objects in the cabinet and we see images of Shrinathji and Shiva juxtaposed with delicate porcelain teacups. In depicting these mundane everyday objects with relevant religious symbols, he has elevated them to a semi-iconic status. Shrinathji is one of the more popular deities in Gujarat and a favorite motif in his paintings. The image of Shiva in the center of the work can be attributed to the influence of Calendar Art on Khakhar's work. The presence of Shiva and his association with linga worship also alludes to Khakhar's homosexuality. "The juggling of the images has an element of surprise yet creates a new effect and a new type of painting." (Ratan Parimoo, 'Baroda Painters and Sculptors', Lalit Kala Contemporary 4, New Delhi, April 1966, p. 18.)