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Artist of the Day | Sudarshan Shetty

Sudarshan Shetty  - Listen outside this house

Sudarshan Shetty

Listen outside this house, 2009 Aluminium skeleton, wooden plank, fibreglass overpainted, Light Installation 152 × 280 × 56 cm


Born in 1961 in Mangalore, Sudarshan Shetty completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts, Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai (1980 to 85). He received Fellowship at the Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad.

Sudarshan Shetty has been regularly creating artworks since 90s and mostly works on sculpture and installations. His work envisions a lyrical world full of playfulness and freedom liberated from political issues. It displays an intriguing combination of the representational and the abstract.

The artist strives to escape from the social framework, and at the same time, tries to collect scattered fragments of daily life. Through the process of editing and applying these (fragments), he superimposes various facets of contemporary society. In fact, though formally trained as a painter, Shetty progressively became interested in sculpture and installation, and began to combine his paintings with found objects that he painted. In 1996 he attended a sculpture workshop in Scotland that resulted in a spontaneous showing of swiftly executed watercolors; sketches in which the predominant leit motif was that of a carrier bag embellished by whimsical images and memories of the surroundings.

Sudarshan Shetty’s sculptural installations are fused with a sense of morbid humour and place them in the twilight of presence and absence. More than an artist, he thinks of himself as an entertainer trying to attract people to his art while moving art away from the white cube space of the gallery to the public space, so that there is more of an engagement between art and the common man.

His art-world reflects contemporary urban life. By stimulating the memories of people's childhood and their playful-mind filled with curiosity, he cleverly escapes from the globalism that homogenizes the world and innocently plots to overthrow the value system led by politics and the economy.

Sudarshan Shetty is Artistic Director and Curator of Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016. He is currently based in Mumbai. courtesy of,,

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