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The Artistry of Atul Dodiya

 Juggling Juxtapositions to Rewrite Narratives

Atul Dodiya's artistic voyage is a finely woven tapestry enriched with references from politics, history, contemporary struggles and Gujarati and French literature. Within his body of work, luminaries such as Mahatma Gandhi, national and international artists such as Nandalal Bose, Benodebehari Mukherjee, Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, Tyeb Mehta, Gerhard Richter, Edward Hopper, Mondrian, Bhupen Khakhar, and cinematic visionaries like Satyajit Ray, Federico Fellini, and Akira Kurosawa coexist. These illustrious figures permeate his work through a multitude of references that transcend cultural and temporal boundaries. Dodiya's unique artistic vocabulary was honed during his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris (1991-2).

Dodiya's artistic language is a fusion of the vibrant energy of Mumbai's streets and the ceaseless barrage of media. Memories, conversations, and the minutiae of daily life, including traders' lists and restaurant menus, find their place within this melange. He adeptly employs these disparate elements to construct juxtapositions that ingeniously invert narratives, much like a magician's hat trick, conjuring forth unexpected, bewildering, enchanting, and sometimes ambiguous meanings.

Atul Dodiya, regarded as one of India's foremost postcolonial artists, refuses being constrained by a singular national identity. While based in India, he uses this foundation to engage and impact various cultural and political histories that the postcolonial identity inherits.

Text: Nandini Gandhi

Images: Procured from the artist

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