Gupta Chapter 1

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S.R.: What is the strongest influence on your work?

S.G.: Actually I can't really pinpoint any strongest influence but I've been influenced by everything and everything which I've seen, right from the books I've read, the streets I walk in, billboards; a lot of it has to do with television, and a lot of it has to do with the popular culture and the interaction of people in the city of Bombay. It's such an overwhelming city. I think that's the biggest thing which influences me.

S.R.: Is there a specific practice in the history of art which is your favorite or is conceived as your favorite?

S.G.: Actually it's sort of, I have a weird choice of what I do like; I like stuff even... I mean I don't like a particular practice as I like certain artists of certain times; I like Nicolas Poussin to Cézanne- a lot of it overlap. It has to do with what I relate to most; it's more to do with Pop and then Conceptualism. I guess a lot of my own work, I've been told, overlaps with that. So, I guess that. But it's really not a particular period or something. I feel especially close to. It's like a work I might see here or there and I might like it.

S.R.: How do you conceive your own work? Do you think it's media work or do you focus on the issue; what is your anchor?

S.G.: I guess it's like a collapse of a couple of things. When a work comes to you, often it comes to you... I feel it just comes to me. It's often an idea which comes to me, and then, along with it I often get a couple of options to execute it, whether as a net-project or as and object-based thing. But usually it's all at one go. I don't know whether... I don't think the medium or the issue or that first, unless, of course, sometimes there would be something like a thematic show where the theme is presented. But again, I grapple a lot with that; I can't really work with themes. And... even within the same work, I have a habit to keep changing it. I did I poster on a project called »vain«; it became a bottle, it became a performance on the trains. I keep having a same concept and I keep reworking it. So it's like that. So the medium just changes, the concept may just be the same. Do a poster on it, do a bottle on it, and then an interactive performance also.

Shilpa Gupta »