Inspired by the imagery of Indian movies of the 1960s, the paintings of Canada-born artist Marcel Dzama at the ongoing India Art Fair reference Indian culture and include details such as Bollywood dancers and regional wildlife. Presented by the David Zwirner gallery, which is making an appearance in the Fair for the third consecutive year, Dzama's work is a visual exploration of the Indian ethos, with hints of divine and royal iconography.
Dzama first rose to prominence in the late 1990s for his otherworldly scenes that recall childhood fantasies and fairy tales. His work draws equally from folk vernacular as from art-historical and contemporary influences, and presents a blurred relationship between the real and the subconscious through an immediately recognisable visual language.
"You could rent Bollywood films back in the day. I've been drawn to choreography and dance, and costumes. I have also been drawn to masks, I would dress up in a costume as a child, and pretend I was that character all day long," Dzama told IANS, pointing to his work that seamlessly merge Indian mythology, pop culture and memories.
His scenes are often also inhabited by an expansive cast of recurring human, animal and hybrid characters, as well as motifs such as masks and chess pieces.
Dzama's works on paper are presented alongside two sculptures by the artist, as well as a new large-scale wall mural, which Dzama painted directly on to the gallery's booth at the fair, demonstrating the breadth of his wide-ranging artistic practice.
His work can be seen at the India Art Fair till it closes on Sunday.
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