SUBRAT KUMAR BEHERA
Born on 4th April 1988 in Odisha, Subrat Kumar Behera completed his B.F.A in Printmaking from B.K College of Art and Crafts, Utkal University of Culture Bhubaneswar Odisha in 2008 and later his Post diploma in Printmaking from the Faculty of Fine Arts, M S University, Baroda in 2013. He has been the recipient of many awards like the Gujarat State Lalit Kala award in 2012 (in the student category) as well as in 2013. He was awarded the National Young Artist Scholarship by the Ministry of Culture in 2010 for his outstanding performance in printmaking. He has attended art camps like the regional printmaking camp organised by Lalit Kala Academy BBSR in 2013 and the Vice-Versa, National Student Printmaking Camp conducted by Walter D'Souza at Goa in 2012. He has also participated in various state level art camps at Jaipur and Odisha between 2006 and 2008. He has been a part of many group shows like the "Forming in the pupil of an eye" "Kochi-Muziris Biennale 3rdedition,curated by Sudarshan Shetty 2016, "Lapses" curated by Anushka Rajendran at Harrington street art centre, Kolkata 2017, India art fair 2017 represented by Blueprint12 Gallery at New Delhi, "Lay in midst of local" at gallery OED 2016, "Morphology of Archive" (Connected Histories of Goa) at the Museum of Goa (MOG) in 2016; 57th National Lalit Kala Academy Annual Exhibition, Lucknow in 2016; "The Bird Project" at Open Studio, Baroda in 2016; "Reviving the Retinal" - curated by Kathleen Wyma at Gallery OED, Kochi in 2015; "Back to College Graphics" (a part of the VadFest-2015) at Vadodara in 2015; "Sleeping Through the Museum" - A collaboration with Waswo X Waswo, Collateral Projects at Kochi Muziris Biennale, Kochi in 2014 and also at the Sakshi Art Gallery, Mumbai in 2014 to name a few. He was also a part of "Between the Lines" (from the private collection of Waswo X Waswo) at National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai in 2013. He has also been a part of many group shows in Vadodara. He currently lives and works from Vadodara (India).
Significant works of art originate from great "visions". We see, then we imagine, and thus the whole thought process induces the power of "vision". These "visions" not only position themselves in reality but also in the imaginations, dreams and in every sub-conscious level of human tendency. If we think of defining the word 'art' - there have been a number of great debates over decades and they continue even today. However, Picasso once stated, "Everything you can imagine is real." Imagination then, one might say, is narrative that one builds in their own mind. This narrative eventually over time transcends into the realm of a structured narrative, which we call a story, myth, tale, fable, etc. This is where Subrat feels that his work operates at its best, in the realm of storytelling. His work revolves around the idea of mythology. It attempts to inquire about the process by which, myth(s) develop into a mythology. It brings him to focus his concerns with the semiotics and poetics of mythology. His work looks at the making of a number of myths, the subjectivity of which borrows from early modern to contemporary history. His work oscillates between art as a personal story and a universal credence. This comes from his childhood experience of listening to his grandmother's stories of Indian mythology, Panchatantra tales and so on. His process of choosing events, specific people, characters, iconography, monuments, etc. at times is quite clinical. During this selection process, he is well aware of what, why and when is he 'eliminating' a character or an event. In addition, this elimination helps him manipulate characters and the outcome of certain events. For him this elimination is very important for his process.
As mentioned earlier, the subjectivity of the present work is born out of early modern and contemporary history. Events and periods in history like the industrial revolution, colonial expansion, the fall of colonial expansion, the feminist movements which gave way for LGBT movements and racial freedom, environmental movements, the white and green revolutions, globalization, the fall of the soviet union which inadvertently gave a huge blow to communism and socialism, the rise of radicalism and terrorism, rise of China and so on become very important for the making of a modern day mythology. Here many conspiracy theories also become important as they help one gain access to certain alternate histories and probable facts. Those facts and histories which otherwise would not have seen the light of the day. Regiments and people in power since the beginning of time have always tried to manipulate crowds and courses of history, and they have done so quite successfully on a number of occasions. This becomes the base for Subrat's work.