Some call her work feminist, some admire her minimalist approach to art, while some are surprised that almost every time she has an exhibition, there’s one thing that’s constant: Vadodara-based Kruti Thaker loves playing with
contradictions and is in the perpetual search for self in her paintings.
Kruti Thaker with one of her Crazy Companions.
In an exhibit dominated by pictures of kitchen appliances, it’s not strange to find a pizza cutter with an embroidered handle cutting through the streets, or a metamorphosed gas lighter-cum-scissors soaring through the sky, all of which portray Thaker’s Comfort Zone. Currently exhibiting her first solo show at the Capital’s Anant Art Gallery, Thaker insists that she doesn’t have a lot of high-flown fundas in her work, but a walk through her 75-odd paintings and sculptures, and one is tickled by the subtle references to freedom from the mundane, the imaginative mind that transforms simple objects around the house, mainly the kitchen, from their utilitarian purposes to the realm of aesthetics. Her series, A Month of My Life, includes 31 line drawings, predominantly in black and white, has brief prints in red, green and orange on a bamboo base, covered with rice paper, is like an art diary covering Thaker’s different moods and activities. “I love working with soft materials. I love mediums that can be moulded the way I want,” says Thaker, who still recalls her first group exhibition with her classmates from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Vadodara, in 2005, when renowned artist S.H. Raza praised her work. “He said he liked my simple line drawings,” recalls Thaker, who married her college sweetheart and fellow artist Ved Gupta in April. He is also currently exhibiting at New Delhi’s Visual Arts Gallery, India Habitat Center.
Thaker’s work is an extension of herself on the canvas. More so in a piece which is an outline of Thaker on a bed of red chillies, next to a condom filled with more red chillies. An embroidered green chilli in place of her heart makes a striking statement. “I usually work a lot with women’s fertility issues and her multifaceted aspects,” explains the artist, who next wants to try with reversing the canvas as
well as the embroidery as part of her next artistic pursuit. Her statements aren’t very political, but they hit right home, whether it’s a Swiss knife juxtaposed with the eight-handed woman juggling different things, or a woman’s varied facets, reflected via the colours of her lipstick.
One painting from A Month of My Life.
This time, Thaker also experiments with 3-D (three dimensional) for the first time. In her series of buffed and moulded five-point aluminium forks, Thaker relates the story of two characters and different moods, playing with hand gestures and body contours in the Crazy Companions series. Again, she takes from her home state of Gujarat, buffing the 20-inch forks with traditional folk designs, while the pieces themselves present a very futuristic gleam-y look.
Next project: “Well, I want to spend some time with my family and in-laws”, she says. “Then I’ll probably take my Crazy Companions further, but the medium will be paper,” says Thaker with a mischievous gleam in her eyes.
The works are priced from Rs50,000 to Rs2.5 lakh.
Quotidian Pleasures will be on display at Anant Art Gallery, Lado Sarai, New Delhi, till 12 October