Delhi-based artist Kanchan Chander believes that if she didn’t pursue art she would have definitely become an actress. Fusing the best of both worlds, she has made mixed media artworks using images of popular Hollywood and Bollywood icons.
Titled Bollywood /Hollywood, the exhibition includes 26 “kitschy kitsch” artworks including mixed media artworks, paintings and sculptures. Icons including Audrey Hepburn, Frida Kahlo, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Madhubala and Waheeda Rahman are juxtaposed in the artworks.
Art in the making
The process involved in making the artworks involves photoshopping the images, paper cutting, painting on the images and embellishing the collage with paper cuttings, sequins, swarovski, lace, appliqué, bindis, stickers, nuts and bolts. Some of the works take up to four weeks to make.
Chander also spends a lot of time and effort to hunt for the perfect embellishment. In the process, she heads to city markets in old Delhi, Mumbai’s Chor Bazaar and China Town markets in various countries to stock up on the quirkiest materials including coins, buttons, keys and old locks.
“Recently, I visited a factory in Delhi where I was fascinated by the spare parts; they were waste materials but they also presented an opportunity to create something new out of them.” She had spent nearly five decades pursuing art, and attributes her eclectic style of art to her extensive travels as a child: “It helped me broaden my cultural background.”
Among the myriad artworks she has made, Chander admits that her choice of subject veers towards strong female personalities whom she identifies strongly with. “I have worked on resolving women’s issues earlier and I have witnessed atrocities that are often committed on them.
So perhaps that’s why bold feminine characters appeal to me. But I have also made it a point to include male personalities including Michael Jackson and Ricky Martin in my artworks, for variety.” Apart from her mixed media art, Chander will also showcase her Frida and Me collection where she has juxtaposed images of artist Frida Kahlo alongside her image and the Devi collection, which is about self-exploration and discovering inner strength.
I have worked on resolving women’s issues earlier and I have witnessed atrocities that are often committed on them. So perhaps that’s why bold feminine characters appeal to me. Kanchan Chander, artist