Ten years after his death, Indian artists pay a fitting tribute to the artist iconoclast and pioneer. We revisit Bhupen Khakhar to find why he is relevant and in demand
Bhupen Khakhar would slip into our hyper connected, performative, social media-propelled world all too easily. In his last days, battling an advancing prostate cancer, he would ply visiting friends with his campy, self-mocking humour—“so dramatic, so nat-khat then also", says his sister-in-law Lekha Naresh Khakhar, who now lives in the house the artist designed and lived in. Its rooms are airy and angular. Very little of him remains in his studio and bedroom, except a few brushes, the paintings he had collected, and some photographs. He willed his works to three trusts in Vadodara and Surat, to be managed by three close businessmen friends, among them the Garden Vareli family in Surat. None of the trusts talks about these collections (meant only for preservation) in public.