Toying with Gandhi

Debanjan Roy

14th August – 15th September, 2021

Super Gandhi | 2_5 | Fibreglass & weather coat acrylic paint  | 55 x 39 x 34 in | 2019

The Pop Artist of our generation, Debanjan Roy is a visual artist and sculptor based in Madhyamgram, India. Know for his sarcastic, tongue in cheek portrayal of the figure of Gandhi, for this exhibition, he presents a series of Gandhi’s toy-like fibreglass sculptures. Further, for his bronze series, Roy takes the figure of Gandhi and merges it with the everyday tasks performed by us to present this odd juxtaposition as fine art.

Call Centre Gandhi | 32_75 | Fibreglass with acrylic paint  | 12 x 12 x 7.5 |  2010
Gandhi with Crow | 5_10  | Fibreglass with acrylic paint  | 26 x 17 x 11.5 |  2007
Lazy Boy Gandhi |  31_75 | Fibreglass with acrylic paint  | 8.75 x 8.5 x 14.5 |  2010

“Gandhi is perhaps the most overused political icon.
He has become a veritable toy, used to fulfill vested interest.”

– Debanjan Roy

Bobble Head Gandhi |  2 2_10 | Painted Fibreglass | 17.5 x 7.5 x 5.5 | 2019

Out of all the icons of the past, the celebrity status of the Mahatma has been unparalleled. The sculptures in the series subtly reference numerous political campaigns and slogans. Roy’s aim is to showcase and discuss the happenings of our country.

Gandhi has been a recurring theme in his work for over a decade now. For Roy, the figure of Gandhi lends him the opportunity to question the iconization and appropriation of the Mahatma for personal interests by politicians and media alike.

Munni Gandhi | 2_5  | Fibreglass and automotive paint  | 12 x 8.5 x 12 | 2019
Munny Gandhi | 2_5 | Fibreglass and automotive paint | 47 x 37 x 36 in | 2019

The fibreglass and bronze sculpture in the series are both a homage and a critique of the capitalist society we live in. The existence of the works itself is a commentary on the society and on us, the audience of this exhibition.

Over the past decade and more, Debanjan Roy has developed across the body of his work what might be called an aesthetic of edgy playfulness to draw attention to the misappropriations and over-appropriations of the Mahatma’s image in the production of Brand Gandhi.

– Sumathy Ramaswami, Professor of History, Duke University

Gandhi on the Harley | 2_5  |  Bronze | 14 x 25.5 x 9 |  2019
Gandhi with Shopping Cart 2_5_ Bronze _ _Gandhi 18 x 8 x 6_ _ Cart 9.5 x 5 x 9_ _ 2019
Gandhi taking selfie with a cow | Fibreglass with acrylic paint  |  Gandhi 32 x 43 x 23 | Cow 49 x 37 x 26 |  2018

Also visit Saffron Art Partner Galleries Exhibition


Debanjan Roy (b. 1975) lives and works in Kolkata, India. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Visual Arts (Sculpture) from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, in 1998, and Masters in Visual Arts (Sculpture) from Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata, in 2000. Some of his recent solo shows include toying with Gandhi, Akar Prakar, 2019; Metamorphosis, Akar Prakar, New Delhi and France, 2015; Waste Side Story, Akar Prakar, Kolkata, 2014; The Altar of Convenience, Aicon Gallery, New York, 2011; Altar of Convenience, Aicon Gallery, New York, 2013; Looking for Bapu, Akar Prakar, Ahmedabad and Kolkata, 2010.

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Debanjan has participated in several group shows including Sightings: Out of the wild, KNMA Noida, 2019; Seattle Art Museum, USA; Bangladesh Art Biennale, Dhaka, 2013; Vermont Studio Centre Residency Open Studio show, Johnson, USA, 2011 and 2012; Enduring Legacy, Berlin and Munich, Germany; Reprise Aicon Gallery, London; Masterpieces of Indian Art – North Carolina, Aicon, and Dalip and Monica Awasthi; and Who has seen Mr. Gandhi? at Tangerine, Bangalore, 2010, to name a few. Among the residencies he has attended include Chateau De La Napoule, Nice, under the Asiatic Museum, Nice, France, in collaboration with Akar Prakar, India, 2016.

He has been awarded the Navonmesha Puraskar by Lath Sarvoday Trust, Kolkata 2005; Nirman Art Award, Kolkata, 2004; Lalit Kala Akademi Scholarship, New Delhi 2002; Junior Fellowship, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Govt. of India, among other honours.

Debanjan Roy

Debanjan Roy

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