Gents

This artwork was created after the series of violent acts by men against women across India. The constant barrage of images and news about rape by men in India and that Delhi was now called the "rape capital" of the world, made
me question the identity of the Indian male? Is he a rapist or can he also be something else.

In order to define him and explain him to myself and others, I embarked on collecting images of Indian men across the country. I didn't photograph actual men on the street but the portrayal of Indian men by someone else — an artist, a sculptor, a printing press (in the case of stickers). To me this was an "antidote" of the portrayal of Indian men by the media. So in a sense this artwork is my documentation of how men are portrayed in India and not my portrayal of Indian men.

In a diverse country as India, how do we define the Indian male? Is there such a thing as a quintessential Indian male? From the stickers of Bhagat Singh on taxis and trucks, to the humble images of men in front of toilets, the swashbuckling Shivaji across Mumbai, to the Bollywood heros which are ubiquitous in urban across billboards, to the suave babus seen on the walls of Shekhavati, the busts of famous men such as Mahatma Gandhi or Ambedkar, or even the local heros, legends and Gods, such as Maharana Pratap, seen across Mewar to the unknown, anonymous "aam aadmis" (the "everyday man") — the Indian male is plastered on walls, painted on rickshaws and moulded into statues.

I chose to frame these "found objects" in a way to unite them as a single artwork. The frames like the original artworks and sculptures of men are also found objects.