Kher, Bharti b.1969 / Make Up (as you go along)
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Kher, Bharti b.1969 / Make Up (as you go along)Kher, Bharti b.1969 / Make Up (as you go along)Kher, Bharti b.1969 / Make Up (as you go along)Kher, Bharti b.1969 / Make Up (as you go along)Kher, Bharti b.1969 / Make Up (as you go along)Kher, Bharti b.1969 / Make Up (as you go along)
about this work
Bharti Kher's multifaceted sculptures, photographs, and paintings explore issues related to gender, identity, and race, and often make use of hybrid, contradiction-filled mythological and cultural images that combine human and animal forms. A central motif in Kher’s work is the use of the bindi, which is traditionally painted onto the forehead as a symbol of the Third Eye. In its contemporary incarnation, the bindi has been redefined as a female fashion accessory sold in the form of colorful stickers in a range of different forms. Kher’s interest in this material stems from the performative action of applying the stickers and their significance as representations of a metaphysical form of seeing. Kher mainly uses two types of stickers: countless snake-shaped bindis which she forms into patterns that cover large areas, appearing at once as a form of camouflage and as a delineation of various life paths; and the spot, which is used as a form of punctuation or a code.

In recent years, Kher has continued to delve further into the contradictions inherent to the domestic sphere as a site where the material, the emotional, and the allegorical are fused together. Objects such as chests, chairs, staircases mark absences or reinvent presence. In this work, Kher decorated a teak dressing table with bindis. The dressing table is precariously balanced with one of its legs resting on heavy glass bricks, which were made by melting red glass bangles traditionally used as marriage ornaments. By smashing the dressing-table mirror, Kher challenges notions concerning luck or fortune, as well as balance. Engaging in a Sisyphean, repetitive, and meditative process, she applied the bindis one by one to create a flow composed of various forms and marks that cover the entire mirror. This strategy underscores the decorative, seductive, and quotidian aspects of this furniture item, while triggering associations related to vanity and beauty, alongside a critique of consumer culture and kitsch.
(Tel Aviv Museum of Art, June 2012)

Bharti Kher (b.1969, UK)

Make Up (as you go along), 2010

Wood, mirror, bindis, glass bricks
172 x 130 x 71 cm
67 11/16 x 51 3/16 x 27 15/16 in.
Perrotin Gallery, Paris, France Current Location:
UK - London - G4Si SculptureSouth Asia


Bharti Kher: Matter
Vancouver Art Gallery
July 2016 - October 2016

Critical Mass
Tel Aviv Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel
June 2012 - December 2012

The Collectors Show: Asian Contemporary Art from Private Collections
Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
January 2012 - March 2012

Bharti Kher - Leave your smell
Galerie Perrotin, Paris, France
May 2011 - June 2011

Disturbia, utopia, house beautiful
Ske Gallery, Bangalore, India
December 2010 - February 2011


S. Kalidas, Elaine W.Ng, Kanu Kartik Agrawal, Bharti Kher - blind, eyes open
Galerie Perrotin (Book), 2012
View Publication »

The Longue Durée …
(Online), 18 January, 2012
View Publication »

Critical Mass: Contemporary Art from India
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel (Catalogue), 2012

Bharti Kher
Singapore Art Museum (Catalogue), 2012

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