Tate   Bhupen Khakhar

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Khakhar: Man Eating Jalebi (custom print)
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          Artwork details

          Man Eating Jalebi, 1977, 1977
          Bhupen Khakhar
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          Oil on canvas. 112 x 112 cm. (PC C/O) James Kirkman © Estate of Bhupen Khakhar.

          The main figure in this enigmatic painting sits complacently eating a sweet snack, while the action unfolds behind him. The composition demonstrates Khakhar’s ability to weave together the real and the unreal for dramatic pathos; in contrasting the solitary main figure with the dreamlike scene behind he blends fantasy and reality in a vibrant and engaging composition.

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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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