27 February, 2021

Portrait Of An Artist

Sundaram, the nephew of the legendary Amrita Sher-Gil, plays God with his family.

Portrait Of An Artist
Sundaram likes to play God, with his family. The artist-author is the nephew of the legendary Amrita Sher-Gil, the half Hungarian, half Sikh painter who died tragically young at the age of 28 in 1941. And in these amazing and strangely moving photomontages, he waves his "digital wand" to re-create their lives—but only according to the way they are playing out in his imagination.

Sundaram juggles his cast of four characters so that they end up in the same picture—defying the rules of time, space—alongside or behind her father, now old, faded and despondent, or bang in the middle of her own paintings, like an apparition.

The line between illusion and reality has all but vanished in these digital photomontages that are the result of a strange collaborative venture between Amrita’s father, Umrao Singh Sher-Gil, and his grandson Sundaram. Taken from the Sher-Gil family archive, many of the original pictures have been taken by Umrao Singh; some are self-portraits. Interestingly, Sundaram has cast himself into this "re-enactment" of the Sher-Gil family drama. You could...

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