I've never behaved inappropriately: Subodh Gupta

Updated: Dec 15, 2018, 10:11 IST | A Correspondent | Mumbai

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After anonymous sexual misconduct allegations surfaced online against artist Subodh Gupta on December 13, he issued a statement, saying, "I deny the anonymous allegations made on the Instagram account @herdsceneand in their entirety; I have never behaved in an inappropriate manner with any individual who worked with me and several of my former assistants can attest to this. These allegations are entirely false and fabricated." On Instagram handle @herdsceneand, a former colleague had said: "He has made unwanted physical advancements on separate occasions: grabbed the hand, touched the stomach, breasts, shoulders, pulled at bra straps, rubbed the thighs, even after the woman pulled away." The post combined the experiences of several women, one of which included, “He loudly asked a senior gallerist, pointing at a new assistant he had hired, 'Do you think I should f*** her tonight?'" Later, art writer and mid-day columnist Rosalyn D'mello commented on the post, corroborating, "Since September, I learned about almost all the instances mentioned in the herdandscene testimony. I want to state that the post pertaining to Subodh is not "made up" or isn't "revenge" or isn't "attention-seeking". They are true. They happened."

Peter Nagy, whose gallery Nature Morte represents Gupta, also said, "Nature Morte is aware of the statements that have been made concerning Subodh Gupta. Nature Morte does not condone and has a zero-tolerance policy against any types of harassment or discrimination, particularly sexual discrimination." When asked to clarify if Nature Morte will continue to represent Gupta, Nagy did not respond. Smriti Rajgarhia, director of Goa-based Serendipity Arts Festival (December 15-22), where Gupta is a curator has also not issued any statement. Though, the official Instagram handle of Serendipity has stopped tagging Gupta, while continuing to acknowledge the other curators.

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From the kitchen
Subodh Gupta's oeuvre includes giant sculptures made from welding together steel tiffin boxes, thalis, bicycles and milk pails. This year, Monnaie de Paris hosted a retrospective of 30 works in an exhibition called Adda / Rendez-vous, which included his well-known pieces: Very Hungry God, Two Cows and Unknown Treasure.

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