Zakkir Hussain
Indian, born 1970

Describing his work as “aesthetically confrontational,” Zakkir Hussain jams his mixed-media paintings and works on paper with a riot of minutely detailed images, producing exuberant compositions reflecting the poetry and the violence of contemporary India. “It’s the social space that is full of violence, my work reflects that,” he says. “My work arises from compassion.” A keen observer of his immediate milieu and of the religious, political, and socio-economic ferment of Indian society, Hussain draws his imagery from city streets and mass media. Human-animal-plant hybrids populate many of his compositions. In Female Dresses, Fan, and Two Female Bodies, he paints endlessly repeating rows of blush-colored dresses, from which hang a ceiling fan with two nude female bodies suspended from its blades—an acerbic objection to the commodification of women’s bodies in contemporary culture.

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