Mithu Sen, ‘Untitled’, 2014, Chemould Prescott Road

Ever the unconventional, Mithu Sen is renowned for her acerbic derisory work, with its pictorial exploration and grotesque representations of the body, sexuality and desire, blurring the line that exists between the human and animal kingdoms. Between delicate pencil strokes to graphically dense images, in this work these drawings have been embedded in the layers of pulp with topical application of paint, cloth and printed paper. Born out of an understanding between the paper maker and the artist, the transparency of the Japanese Kozo paper lends itself the reflective light giving the works an ethereal transparency.

About Mithu Sen

In her visceral sculptures, installations, videos, and works on paper, Mithu Sen combines eroticism, grotesquerie, and exquisite beauty to both send up and upend, with an elegant, sardonic wit, modes of self-representation, gender stereotypes, and personal, social, and artistic decorum. Images of the body—genitalia, intestines, blood-filled veins, bones, limbs, and hair—recur throughout her work, mixed with a host of motifs drawn from Indian and global popular culture, such as tigers and Japanese anime characters. Sen often begins with photographs of herself, manipulating her image with a playful gusto, drawing a mustache on her upper lip or showing small phalluses pointed towards her, poised for penetration. Through these manipulations, she demands control over the way she is seen and represented, pre-empting stereotypes through exaggerated representation.

Indian, b. 1971, West Bengal, India, based in New Delhi, India