Tate   Bhupen Khakhar

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Khakhar: Factory Strike (Voice of Freedom) (custom print)
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          Artwork details

          Factory Strike (Voice of Freedom), 1972, 1972
          Bhupen Khakhar
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          Oil on canvas. 92.5 x 92.5 cm. Amrita Jhaveri © Estate of Bhupen Khakhar.

          This painting addresses one of Khakhar’s key concerns: how the individual relates to their wider environment. A man with a grey face looks toward the viewer, detached from the strikers around him. Representative of the middle class everyman, he occupies a lonely, isolated position in society, belonging to neither the workers nor the upper classes to which he aspires.

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          Artist details

          A key figure in 20th century painting, Bhupen Khakhar’s pictures depict the world with unflinching honesty and deep humanity. Born in Bombay in 1934, he worked as an accountant by day and painted in his spare time. His portraits of hairdressers, shopkeepers and accountants challenged the art establishment, recasting the ordinary lives of normal lower-middle class Indians into grand, vibrantly coloured compositions. His later works confronted issues of sexuality and identity. These uncompromising and provocative works were often autobiographical, a means through which he addressed his own homosexuality with rare sensitivity and wit.

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