Know the artist of Kochi-Muziris Biennale’16 – Abir Karmakar

Born in 1977 in Siliguri, West Bengal, Abir Karmakar completed his Bachelor’s degree in Visual Art from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, in 2001, and then his Master’s degree in Fine Art from the Faculty of Fine Arts at Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda, in 2003.

Karmakar is known for his casual and voyeuristic self-portraits, in which he places his naked body in intimate settings. His body language and the mysterious eye contact he makes with viewers are provocative, offering them his interpretation of sexuality and the fluid nature of identity in contemporary contexts. Studying the traditions of oil painting and its varying forms of spatial construction, Karmakur’s photorealistic canvas and trompe-l’œil-esque paintings dramatise the space between perception and interpretation.

Karmakar was awarded The Harmony Award in 2007 and the prestigious Gold Medal for Painting from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Maharaja Sayajirao University in 2003. Select solo exhibitions include: Within the Walls, Gallery Espace, New Delhi, 2008; In the Old Fashioned Way, Aicon Gallery, London,2007; Interiors, Galerie Heike Curtze, Berlin, 2006; and, from my photo album, The Museum Gallery, Mumbai, 2005. Select group exhibitions include: Have I Ever Opposed You? New Art from India and Pakistan, Faye Fleming & Partner, Geneva, 2010; A New Vanguard: Trends in Contemporary Indian Art, Saffron Art and The Guild Art Gallery, New York, 2009; New Fables: Contemporary Voices, Gandhara Art Gallery, Calcutta, 2009; and, Shifting Shapes – Unstable Signs, Yale University School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut, 2009.

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