Contemporary Artists Collection
Jitish Kallat (b. 1974)

Jitish Kallat s a contemporary Indian artist known for his diverse and innovative artistic practice. Born in Mumbai, India, Kallat has gained international recognition for his works that often address social, political, and cultural issues. He works across various mediums, including painting, photography, sculpture, and installation. Kallat's art is characterized by a multidisciplinary approach, and he often incorporates a mix of traditional and new media. His works engage with themes such as urban life, the passage of time, and the complexities of modern society. Kallat is known for his ability to create visually compelling pieces that carry layers of meaning and invite viewers to reflect on a range of subjects.

One of his notable series is "Dented Chariot" (2006), that has traced and documented the complexities of the conurbation that is Mumbai, bringing to attention the nuances of urban existence in a megalopolis that is simultaneously allied to the past and the future, through a cipher of images, text and subtle references.

Drawing on Victorian anatomical sketches, pop art, and various other sources of reference, the series of diptychs comments on the frequently perilous nature of the relationship between the urban individual and the city. According to Deepak Ananth, these diptychs make “…explicit the destructiveness that seams its way in the very fabric of the urban. ‘Driving and Death’ could well be the operative slogan here (in the manner of the signs cautioning prudence on the highway), although Kallat’s paintings are, of course, rather more complex than the crude didacticism of the admonitory billboard. In each of these paired works (placed vertically rather than side to side, as in the traditional diptych format), the cursory outline drawing of the carcass of a vehicle surmounts a much larger painting incorporating a found image of an anatomical study, a juxtaposition that is in the nature of a pictorial rebus. The viewer is invited to make the connections between the battered, smoldering remains of double decker bus and the rippling centrifugal vortex that forms a backdrop to the skeletal body and its ‘humors’ (spit, phlegm, yellow bile…), if the splashes of metallic paint on the picture surface could be so described. And it is perhaps not insignificant that it is the anatomical image that bears the inscription ‘The Dented Chariot’…One draws the conclusions after having seen with one’s own eyes, which is what autopsy literally means”

Jitish Kallat - Rickshawpolis (The Dented Chariot) – 4

Diptych, oil, acrylic, enamel and aluminum paint on canvas and board 69 ¾” x 47 7/8” canvas; 19 ½” x 27” board