Malestrom by Gargi Chandola

Rs. 250,000.00

15.5 x 15.5 inches, Teakwood with bevelled edges with normal glass

Gouache on Waseli


About the Artwork:

Living in a secluded and heavily forested area surrounded by more humans than animals, I have the opportunity to observe interactions intimately. In particular, Rhesus Macaques are our constant companions sometimes outnumbering us ten to one. We are in a constant struggle over territory and resources. I have been documenting their wanton destruction around the house, running away with clothes put out to dry, toying with car rear-view mirrors upon seeing their reflection, pulling plants out of pots, and plucking the flowers only to crush them. This is their idea of fun. Sometimes, chasing them away takes up most of my day and this distraction became my fixation.

In this series, I delve into the human notions of territory, power and the isolation of mind. The monkeys ostensibly mimic human behaviour—or is it the other way around? In my work, they are a reflection of self, engaging in petty and perverse mind games, as well as violence and trickery to get to the bananas. Bananas, and their obvious phallic shape, become a recurring tool to establish dominance—the ultimate ‘precious’ for Frodo and Gollum within. 

This dynamic is frightening and titillating, with each trying to establish that it indeed is the`alpha’. The teasing play and trickery is strangely intimate. While wrestling over what is precious, the lines between evolutionary hierarchies start to blur. In this, the series descends into the self where all binaries collapse and swap faces.

- Gargi


About the Artist (BIO):

Gargi is a visual artist based in New Delhi, India. Her work focuses, in no particular order, on observations of the self, the everyday, and her imaginings. Within these observations, she gravitates towards themes of feminism, personal history, violence, socio-political hierarchy, and often articulates these with a touch of humor. Gargi creates paintings (primarily on paper), illustrated zines, and large-scale murals.

She is the co-founder of Post-Art Project, a multi-disciplinary arts studio. Currently, Gargi is training in Pahari Miniature under the mentorship of a master artist. Her work has been showcased in a number of shows in India and London. In 2023, she had her first solo exhibition with Method Kala Ghoda.

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