Following sexual harassment allegations, artist Subodh Gupta stepped down as a festival’s co-curator.
The Indian artist Subodh Gupta has stepped down from his role as guest curator of the Serendipity Arts Festival, which is currently taking place in Panaji, following accusations of sexual harassment alleged earlier this month by the anonymous Instagram account Scene and Herd. Gupta’s main curatorial contribution to the festival was the exhibition “My Colour on Your Plate,” which features works by artists including Anita Dube, Paul McCarthy, Phyllida Barlow, and Sophie Calle. In a statement sent to Indian daily Mint, the festival’s organizers said that Gupta “decided to step back and will not be present at the festival, so as not to detract from the collaborative efforts of over 90 projects at the Serendipity Arts Festival this year.”
In a statement to the Press Trust of India, Gupta denied the allegations against him:
I deny the anonymous allegations made on the Instagram account @herdsceneand in their entirety; I have never behaved in an inappropriate manner with any individual who worked with me and several of my former assistants can attest to this. These allegations are entirely false and fabricated.
Gupta, who is arguably India’s most successful contemporary artist, is the most high-profile figure to be publicly accused of sexual misconduct on the Scene and Herd Instagram account. In November, the managing director for Sotheby’s in India, Gaurav Bhatia, went on leave indefinitely after accusations were posted by the Instagram account. And in October, the co-founder of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, artist Riya Komu, stepped down over accusations made on Scene and Herd.