If 10 artists are doing well financially, only then the world looks at them: Artist Subodh Gupta at the ‘Ideas of India’ Summit 3.0

Mumbai, 24th February 2024: The internationally acclaimed and celebrated Indian artist Subodh Gupta wowed the audience with a peek into his life and mind at the ‘Ideas of India’ Summit 3.0 in Mumbai today.

Sharing his journey from humble beginnings to international success on the panel “Inside the Mind of a Genius: Memories of My Home,” he said, “I come from a humble family, and my family members worked for the railways. So I am a railway boy. But in my childhood, there was an impact of art. I joined theatre and made posters. And someone, after seeing my posters, encouraged me to join art college, and this is how the journey started.”

Talking about initial struggles and his breakthrough, he added, “When I started, nobody wanted to see my work. I participated in a workshop, and when I prepared an installation with cow dung, a Japanese consultant got in touch with me. I explained the cultural significance of cow dung in India and how it has been used for years. Later, they invited me to Japan to showcase my work, and I stayed there for one month. When I worked internationally, I was asked to display my exhibition in India as well.”

Subodh Gupta transforms mundane icons into artistic wonders. Known as the Damien Hirst of Delhi, he has brought to life an expansive range of artistic creations, including sculptures, paintings, installations, photography, video, and performance works. Talking about the significance of art, he said, “Art flows in our blood. When in the world there was no language, we used to speak in the language of art, and the example is cave painting. We have learned a lot about our development, history, and evolution through these cave paintings. Imagine if there was no art, whether we would be able to know about our history. So art has a very important impact and significance.”

Elaborating on the need to promote art and artists in India, he stressed, “In India, in the last 20 years, the numbers of art galleries have not increased much. Also, how many of us go to museums to see art? If 10 artists are doing well financially, then the world looks at them. But I know what artists go through to make their ends meet. We need to give scholarships to artists in India. Education is very important to nurture artists and to help them grow.”

The ABP Network’s ‘Ideas of India’ Summit 3.0, spotlighting the ‘The People’s Agenda’, brought a confluence of ideas and ideators to a common platform celebrating the country’s people and its plurality. The two-day summit hosted policymakers, cultural ambassadors, industry experts, celebrities, business leaders, economists, and leading luminaries to delve into the fundamental ideas of liberty, justice, equality, and diversity that define India, its society, culture, and politics. The meaningful deliberations on diverse topics had the brightest minds across sectors providing insights about the nation’s trajectory and its journey to become Viksit Bharat.

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