BHARTI KHER & SUBODH GUPTA
INRI & RONG RONG
REENA SAINI KALLAT & JITISH KALLAT
ZHU WEI BANG & JI WEN YU
Chicago, IL; Dynamic duos explore popular culture
"Mom and Pop Art" is a show of artist couples from China and India who also happen to be parents. These couples are playing with the concept of "pop art" as they use images from daily life to explore popular culture. The exhibit includes photography, sculpture, installation and painting. Opening reception is Friday, September 9th from 5 to 9 pm.
The artist pairs are Reena Saini Kallat & Jitish Kallat, i n r i & Rong Rong, Bharti Kher & Subodh Gupta, and Zhu Wei Bing & Ji Wen Yu.
Historically, there has been a reluctance to exhibit husband and wife artists' works simultaneously, especially if there is no obvious overlap in their styles or subjects. Gallery director Julie Walsh wanted to expose the intangible relationship that manifests itself artistically when two people share their lives together. A universal sense of humor exists as these artistic couples explore art and life together.
Included in the exhibit is a fabric sculpture of Shanghai artists Ji Wen Yu and Zhu Wei Bing. The sculpture is a carefully-sewn wedding convertible with a bride and groom in western attire. Driving the car are a man and woman dressed in the hippest of fashions that look decidedly as if they had just consumed a Red Bull & vodka tonic.
Delhi-based artist Bharti Kher has created a series of images of pregnant contemporary deities complete with motorcycle helmets or animal parts and vacuum cleaners as their divine vehicles of transportation. These women are depicted as temptress-hunters cast in the role of nurturer.
Rong Rong and i n r i, a Beijing-based couple, will show black and white photos that have a dated quality. The couple stands in the shell of a doorway; piles of debris from demolished houses are behind them. i n r i is pregnant, and Rong Rong has his arm protectively around her. The couple is in western wedding attire, though her pregnant belly is exposed.
The artists in this show have exceptional international reputations. Jitish Kallat, Bharti Kher, and Subodh Gupta will be in a large group show of contemporary Indian art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in October. Subodh Gupta was the first Indian artist to be included in this summer's Venice Bienniale, while Rong Rong is one of the earliest pioneers of experimental Chinese photography.