Through his images, Shivaraju B.S. unveils the public and private sides of real-life performers.

“Face Two Face”, a solo exhibition by Shivaraju B.S., is creating ripples in Bangalore. A policeman by profession, Cop Shiva — as he is called — has had no formal training in photography. The exquisite composition of his pictures belies the fact that he learned the art merely by interacting with professional photographers and nurturing his interest.

The exhibition features two series of photographs. Through his pictures, Shivaraju documents the lives of two relatively lesser known people who masquerade in public as popular icons. Bagadehalli Basavaraju takes on the character of Gandhi and Vidya Sagar dons the role of South cine star M.G.R. Shivaraju's subjects are meandering constantly between the two identities of the ‘self' and the ‘popular' much like he does himself; from cop to photographer.

He followed his two subjects to explore, expose and connect the two worlds that they live in. Shivaraju unveils the public and private sides of these real-life performers who undermine their true identities to take on a different ‘personality'. It turns out that the roles they have taken on in public have become their alternate identity over the years. Through his series of photographs, the subjects use their own bodies as a canvas. Visitors to the exhibition will find it interesting to note how this is achieved.

Shivaraju's works are primarily of a documentary nature and are based on people and subjects from his immediate surroundings that usually do not enjoy too much public attention. In the brief period of time since he began his adventures with the camera, this lensman has showcased his work in several group exhibitions. He has also curated shows held in India, Sri Lanka and the U.K. He keeps himself busy with a number of documentary projects and contributes his work to various publications, besides working as a coordinator for an art studio-cum-gallery in Bangalore.

Bottomline: About ordinary folk who take on the garb of the famous.

What: Face to Face

When: Up to May 26

Where: No 24/10, BTS Depot Road, Wilson Garden, Bangalore 560027. Ph:+91 22292230. E-mail: gallery@sumukha.com. Website: www.sumukha.com