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Chila Kumari Burman
LOT ID: 67013
Flirty Bhindi Girl Sucking A Lolly-Ice, 2009

Collage, Mixed Media, rhinestones, bindis, stickers, faux gemstones, sequins, newspaper, collage on paper
23 х 16 in. (58.42 x 40.64 cm.)
Signed, other, 'Chila', inscribed lower right, front.
Lot description
"Flirty Bhindi Girl Sucking a Lolly-Ice" (2009) is a dazzling mixed-media collage on paper, by one of the rising Indian Contemporary stars, female artist, Chila Kumari Burman. Burman's ornate works on paper and canvas tend to deal with issues of female sexuality, as well as the use of seduction and sexuality in advertising and consumerism. Her works are highly sought after in India and now Europe, as they are rare and take many weeks and often months to complete. Bindis, sequins, stickers, collage, rhinestones, and other mixed media are all painstakingly applied to paper here to create a work that is both celebratory and sexually subversive.

This is a major work on paper by Burman, and features an ornate, nearly abstracted female "goddess" figure playfully sucking an lolly ice, one of the most popular ice cream treats in India. This flirtatious and sexual gesture parodies provocative advertising imagery prevalent in India for foodstuffs and everyday objects in which seduction is used as a tool to sell objects. The powerful female figure and the artist's ongoing Series depicting women and lolly-ices also reference Burman’s early experiences as a young girl, selling ice cream from her dad’s ice cream van in India in the 1970s. This work measures 26.5 x 19.5 inches as professionally framed. This work is professionally framed and in excellent condition.

Balancing the feminist tone of the empowered female image is the artist's use of superficial and ornate materials to create colorful compositions of swirls and lines that encrust the vibrant surface--a nod to the culture of India and to Bollywood. This exuberance is made up of tiny elements of bindis in all colors and sizes, as well as gems, sequins, stickers and rhinestones. Burman also includes specific words, phrases, and images appropriated from magazines and newspapers which set an ironic and clever tone to the work. These jeweled aspects also reflect the glamour and madness of consumerist life in Western society where time never stands still, a trait of Western society that now permeates Eastern (Indian) society and culture. In Burman's world, the female figure becomes a symbol of a cultural bricolage; the coming together of different traditions – Hindu traditions conflate with Western influences of capitalism, consumerism and glamour. In a satirical twist, Burman's works both criticize and celebrate the new financial global role of India.

Based in London, Chila Kumari Burman had her first solo in Radical Hair Gallery, London in 1992, followed later by showings at Manchester, Sweden, Liverpool, and New York consecutively. She is the recipient of several awards including the British Council award to work at Fifth Havana Biennale in 1994; The New Horizons Award for Established Artists by Gulbenkian Foundation in 1994; Tower Hamlets Arts Research Travel Award in 2000; Arts Council Individual Artists Award in 2004. Selected group exhibitions have been at Neuberger Museum of Art, New York (2009) Bodhi Art Gallery, New York (2008), Dubai Art Fair(2008), The Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire (2004), 100 Tonson Gallery, Bangkok (2004), Cecil Higgins Gallery (2005), Sakshi Gallery, Bangalore (2003), ARCO 2003 Madrid (with Sunil Gupta), London (2003), Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taiwan (2003), Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2000), Khoj International Workshop, India (1998) and many others. The artist lives and works in London.
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