Stiching an Undefined Border

TV Santhosh reinvents images of global conflict, terrorism, acts of politically motivated violence and their victims, borrowed from various media sources, on his canvases. This painting exemplifies Santhosh's signature style: shockingly bright neon colors create the effect of a color photographic negative where light and dark areas are reversed.

Santhosh's works are often categorized as political, but the artist prefers to think of it as a process of ethical and philosophical questioning. The humanism distilled in his works demand that the viewer resist detachment from reality. "We cannot be elsewhere when the event takes place. We cannot take solace, like viewers of the TV news, in the fact that we are elsewhere, in comfortable living rooms far away from the action. These paintings remind us that, morally, we are where the action is; and the action is where we are." (N. Adajania, 'No Alibis for the Image', T.V. Santhosh: Unresolved Stories 2004-2007, p. 11)

Since the late 1990s, Santhosh has participated in many international exhibitions including Singapore Art Museum, Singapore (2011), The Saatchi Gallery, London (2010), Museum of Contemporary Art -- MOCA, Shanghai (2009) and Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi (2009). In 2012, Santhosh was the only Indian artist to be represented in the 11th Havanna Biennial.

London, Saatchi Gallery, The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today, January - May 2010

Lille, Tri Postal, La Route De La Soie, The Silk Road, October 2010 - January 2011

The Empire Strikes Back: Indian Art Today, exhibition catalogue, Saatchi Gallery, London, 2010, pp. 50-51 (illustrated)

M. Nair, ed., 15 Contemporary Indian Artists, Dubai, 2008, pp. 176-177 (illustrated)

Wedel Fine Art, London

About T.V. Santhosh

Deeply engaged with the dark side of human history and current events, T.V. Santhosh investigates “the history of violence and terror” worldwide in his lurid, large-scale paintings and mixed-media sculptures. Santhosh paints and sculpts what he sees, working from images in the news and re-creating them with the effect—brilliant greens, oranges and yellows—of a color photograph negative. Shaped by his underlying concern with our often-destructive definitions of progress and nationalism, he explains: “I have been questioning the so-called notions of ‘progress and its side effects’ evolving around the complex idea of ‘enemy and nationhood.’” In Stitching an Undefined Border (2007), for example, Santhosh uses acid greens and white-hot oranges to paint a bearded, older man working at a sewing machine, calling into question how, where, and with whom borders begin and what, in the end, they divide.

Indian, b. 1968, Kerala, India, based in Mumbai, India

Group Shows on Artsy

South Asian Contemporary + Modern, Christie's South Asian + Chinese