With How to be Brave (in pictures), Indian artist Anju Dodiya continues to explore the creative process.
With this plea for bravery in an era marked by violence and political uncertainty, Anju Dodiya is questioning the challenges artist have to face. She uses the self-portrait to assume different roles, now an explorer, now a mythical hero. With her large-scale water colours teeming with detail and brightly coloured, meticulously executed miniatures based on Bible reproductions, Anju Dodiya elegantly and subtly constructs images of fear that become powerful ex-votos designed to keep it at arm’s length.
Born in Mumbai in 1964 and a graduate of the Sir J.J. School of Art (Mumbai), Anju Dodiya lives and works in Mumbai. She is one of the best known contemporary artists on the Indian art scene.
For the last fifteen years, her paintings have used the self-portrait form to explore the conflicts between inner life and external reality. The artist dramatizes private emotions with a reinterpretation of historical sources as varied as medieval tapestries, Italian Renaissance painters, Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and newspaper photographs.
After initially focusing on water colours, Anju Dodiya’s has moved towards working with acrylic and charcoal on canvas, mattresses and fabric as well as experimenting with silk printing.
Anju Dodiya’s work has been shown extensively, including at the Art in the World 2000 exhibition organised in Paris by Fabrice Bousteau, Chicago Cultural Center in 2007, Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai in 2009, the 53rd Venice Biennale, Making Worlds, in 2009 and the 5th Beijing International Art Biennale in 2012. It is also regularly featured at the Chemould Gallery in Mumbai and Vadhera Art Gallery in New Delhi. This will be her second solo exhibition at Galerie Daniel Templon.