Chennai, Alliance Française of Madras, 7-30 June, 2007
Indigenius, Hsiao Fu-yuan, Taipei, 2008, p. 11 - 12
‘The underlying theme of Nandini’s work is that of identity and of the “gaze”, her own as well as of those who she has photographed.’ (The Definitive Reincarnate, Sakshi Gallery, February-April 2008). Her photographs are highly stylised and tightly choreographed settings that draw their inspiration from a combination of kitsch calendar art representations of Hindu deities and the multiple magazine portraits of celebrities. In the 1980s, Doordarshan television produced the popular serial Ramayan based on the Hindu epic that also payed with tropes influenced by Raja Ravi Varma. The actors also became venerated as their characters. Here we see the irony amidst a spectacle of grandeur but ultimately revealing its artifice. According to the artist, the idea of The Definitive Reincarnate and Disillusioned is to “take Vishnu and sort of update him” which she achieved by placing the model against a contemporary backdrop and displaying the "full-spectrum of human emotions" within "highly-charged exposures that have a painterly quality about them." (ibid.)
Muthiah’s work has been exhibited extensively including, Fotofest 2018 Biennale, Houston, USA; India in Focus, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Woodstreet Galleries, Pittsburgh, USA; City Dwellers: Contemporary Art from India, Seattle Museum of Art, USA; Posing-Types and Stereotypes in Indian Photography, Kontor Projects Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark; Something I Have Been Meaning To Tell You, Curated by Sunil Gupta and Vidya Shivadas, Vadehra Gallery, New Delhi, India; Generation in Transition,- Contemporary Art from India, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland and Where Three Dreams Cross, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK. Muthiah was also nominated for the prestigious Grange Prize in 2011.
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