Gyatri Gamuz

Born 1966 in Spain | Lives and works in India

Gayatri Gamuz when asked in an interview about her adopted homeland of the last two decades says, “I feel one with the land in many respects… I don’t pretend to belong here or feel that India is mine. … I am a long time tourist in India, and also on the planet”

Born in Alicante, Spain and living in South India for most of her adult life, she has made a mark as a contemporary artist in India. Her artist name is itself a joining together of her adopted Indian name and her Spanish surname.

She started her art practice in the city of Kochi in South India in the nineties, a period when the contemporary visual art movement was burgeoning in Kerala. Playing a leading role as artist in the Tree Festivals, in contemporary art festivals and in art collectives that happened there in this period, Gayatri was schooled in the vibrant social and political discourse of Kerala.

However it was when Gayatri moved with her family a decade back to the rural areas around Thiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu and started living on the land that a new found synergy in nature created a pronounced shift in her art as observed by the London based Jana Manuelpillai in a critical text. He comments that Gamuz creates hyperrealist paintings that have an instant comprehensibility to the viewer and are comparable to the succinctness of a Haiku poem.

Gayatri’s works are evocative of the ecological concerns of our times exploring the nature/culture/technology debate and talking about dispossession. . Amrita Gupta Singh, art writer based in Mumbai, reviewing Gayatri’s works says “the cultural duality of being a white Spanish in a post-colonial country, of a split identity, does not appear in her work, evoking a humanist philosophy, despite impositions of geographical boundaries and diverse nationalities…Gayatri speaks intimately of the concerns of the 21st century, of the fragmentation of the human condition. It is the image of a world upside down, dislocated from its moorings, a crisis that waits to be restored.”

“The specificities of location, its history, mythology and present-ness, in which an artist finds herself positioned, are very important in understanding the works of an artist like Gayatri Gamuz” says Johnny M.L, curator and art critic based in New Delhi. He observes that her poignant images addresses the global from a chosen locale and for her this location of Thiruvannamalai is a meeting point of two oppositional forces, the sylvan rural and the globalizing urban.

In “Chinese Doll in South India” and “Teddy Bear in South India”, both works dealing with cultural imports to a distant land, Gayatri directly comments on how materialism has paved way for a culture of dummies, where lifelike dolls take over from human siblings. In the painting of the Teddy bears Gayatri portrays the irony of mutual captivity where humans alienate the animals from their habitat and yet try to naturalize them through surrogate possessions.

“Snow White in South India”, an image of a dirtied doll with ruffled hair is a humorous and introspective look of the artist as a white woman in India.

In “In search of somewhere else” Gayatri looks at the circle of life, destruction, and regeneration through the eyes of a baby sitting with her back to us who contemplates with her head held high the forest on fire. The movable high bed and the pram are comments on the sense of security materialistic objects give to the humans. She talks about stillness and at the same time the moving from place to place like migratory birds or lost penguins……a few flowers on a tree and the balloons announce regeneration and a positive future in the midst of conflagration.

Solo exhibitions
2010 “6 person show”, 1x1 Gallery, Dubai
2009 “Gender Genesis Genetics”, Espace Gallery, New Delhi
2009 “India Art Summit” presented by Espace Gallery, New Delhi
2009 “Of the same matter” (solo), Kashi Art Gallery, Kochi, South India
2008 “Balelatina Hot Art Fair”, Basel, presented by Dukan
and Hourdequin Gallery
2008 “Trends and Trivia An Indian Story”, Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre, Hong Kong
2008 “Millennium Turks Envisaging Contemporary India”,
Trident Hilton Hotel, New Delhi
2008 “Art and Ecology Presentation”, at the Mohile Parikh Centre
for Visual Arts, Mumbai
2008 “Garibaldi 200 Years”, Museo Storico di Bergamo, Italy,
2008 “Garibaldi 200 Years”, Salon Dorado de la Intendencia
Municipal de Montevideo, Uruguay
2007 “In a land without trees” (solo), (Oils on linen
and canvas) Hacienda Gallery, Mumbai
2007 “Ten Light Years”, Kashi Art Gallery, Kochi
2007 “She”, India, The Noble Sage Gallery, London
2007 “Maya”, Artworld, Chennai
2007 “Vanity Fair”, Mon Art Gallerie, Kolkota
2007 “Chronicles of the Unspoken” (MOA),
Travancore House Gallery, New Delhi
2007 “Instilling Life”, Curated by Jasmine Shah Varma
Hacienda Gallery, Mumbai
2007 “Does Size Matter?”, Curated by Bhavna Kakar
Art Konsult, New Delhi
2007 “A Slice of Art from India”,
RL Fine Arts, New York
2006 “Inaugural Show”, Red Wall Gallery,
Hobart, Australia
2006 “London Biennale”, Stables Gallery, London
2006 “Stirring Quartet”, Hacienda Gallery, Mumbai
2006 “In reverse I tell so you understand me” (solo),
(Oils on Canvas) Lila Gallery, Kochi
2006 “In reverse I tell so you understand me” (solo),
Centro Cultural CAM, Orihuela, Spain
2005 “Chestnut Tree Summer Festival”, Nijmegen,
2004 “Tenderness in the middle of the rat race”(solo),
(paintings, sculptures) Embassy of India, Berlin
  “The Other Within” (solo), (acrylics on canvas) Centro Civico, Besos Mar, Barcelona
2003 “Open Art Project”, Die Bank, Munich
  “Pachamama Celebrates 2053” (Installation)
Mayalokam Art Collective, Kochi
2001 “Encounter - First Contemporary Art Festival”, Kochi
1999 “Running Water” (solo), (oils on canvas)
Kashi and Dravidia Art Gallery, Kochi
  “Tree Festival Art Exhibition”, Kashi Art Café, Kochi
1998 Women for Nature Art Camp in the Periyar Tiger Reserve organized by the Forest Department of Kerala
1989-91 Studies in the Escuela de Cerámica de Manises, Valencia
1986-88 Studies in the Escuela de Artes y Oficios de Alicante