Gayatri Aditya's canvas oscillates between the consumerist symbols of today and times gone by

“In docility there is power,” says Chennai-based artist Gayatri Aditya, in New Delhi to showcase her exhibition of paintings. A pair of scissors, pomegranate, red chillies and old photographs form the intricate foreground in her paintings, on display at Galeria de Arte, Saket, till early this week. She explains that her work collectively sheds light on the concept of consumerism with “underlying tools of feminism and sexuality”.

“Unequal Notes”, the title of the exhibition, she says, is inspired by the existence of Indian ideas of beauty in the dominant paradigm of consumerism where absolutely unreal and absurd images of flawlessness and accuracy are bombarded on us. Interestingly, the young artist says, “Today, anything can be sold with a human figure.”

The very reason why Gayatri juxtaposes two seemingly apart images in a single painting forms the intent behind her work.

“As an artist, I want my viewers to pick up whatever they understand from these paintings and images, whether it be the images in the foreground or the background. The titles of my work are just threads and not boundaries.”

An ode to the artistic marvels of the medieval era, Gayatri plays with the images of Taj Mahal, the historic structure that defines the very ideas of love, romance and fertility in “Taj Mahal Revisited” which is a photo on canvas. She interestingly places two separate images; the first one, of a young couple posing in front of the monument and second, of the same woman after 50 years while the young man's picture remains intact as he is no more. The two images when seen together seem to be saying that it is not the history that changes, but the humanity.

With her photographs of married women from different faiths, Gayatri looks at the mangalsutra, a symbol of Hindu marriage union, from the point of view of cross-cultural influence. An interesting one is a woman in a hijab wearing a mangalsutra.

Speaking of the photographs, Gayatri mentions, “It is a very ethnographical study; there is a cross-cultural influence by different religious groups. From my research there are Hindus, Muslims and Christians wearing a mangalsutra.”

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