Born in 1961 in Mangalore, Sudarshan Shetty completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts, Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai (1980 to 85). He received Fellowship at the Kanoria Centre for Arts, Ahmedabad.
Sudarshan Shetty has been regularly creating artworks since 90s and mostly works on sculpture and installations. His work envisions a lyrical world full of playfulness and freedom liberated from political issues. It displays an intriguing combination of the representational and the abstract.
The Fukuoka Asian Art Museum invited Sudarshan Shetty for the series of exhibition, ‘Contemporary Asian Artist’ in September 2001. In the exhibition, the installation consisted of chairs, a desk, boats, stringed instrument, airplane, all with mechanical device and movable. In the installation composed of those objects ‘For Here or To Go’, Shetty created a new kaleidoscopic story. In the ‘Amusement Parlor’ created by him, anticipation for future possibilities as well as anxieties for irrationality and unknown precincts, or eeriness behind contemporary society and amusements were projected.
The artist strives to escape from the social framework, and at the same time, tries to collect scattered fragments of daily life. Through the process of editing and applying these (fragments), he superimposes various facets of contemporary society. In fact, though formally trained as a painter, Shetty progressively became interested in sculpture and installation, and began to combine his paintings with found objects that he painted. In 1996 he attended a sculpture workshop in Scotland that resulted in a spontaneous showing of swiftly executed watercolors; sketches in which the predominant leit motif was that of a carrier bag embellished by whimsical images and memories of the surroundings.
His art-world reflects contemporary urban life. By stimulating the memories of people’s childhood and their playful-mind filled with curiosity, he cleverly escapes from the globalism that homogenizes the world and innocently plots to overthrow the value system led by politics and the economy.
He is also attracting a great deal of public attention as one of the leading artist in the Indian art scene internationally. He participated in the ‘Private Mythology: Contemporary Art from India’ (Tokyo) in 1998, ‘Kwangju Biennale’ (Korea) in 2000, and ‘Century City’ (UK) in 2001. Among his major art exhibitions are III Biennale of Indian Art, Roopankar Museum, Bhopal (1990), Solo show at the Holland Art Gallery, Rotterdam (1993), ‘Paper Moon’, solo show at Pundole Art Gallery, Mumbai (1995), Tryst with Destiny’, Singapore Art Museum (1997), ‘Art in the World’, hosted by Beaux Arts Magazine, Paris (1998) and ‘Century City: Art and Culture in the Modern Metropolis’, Tate Modern (2001)
Sudarshan Shetty is currently based in Mumbai.