Exploring the constructs, how we perceive sexuality, gender stereotypes, and beauty, art is my voice to yield the challenges against conventional roles. Being a particular generation of a metropolitan city of India, I witness the presence and genesis of several trends over time and there happens to be specificity in the way it finds expression among men and women behaviorally. While grooming and beauty were considered inherently feminine, it has been my attempt to explore its sensitivities in detail and deconstruct the idea across time, space and culture.
The male subject is a conscious choice for this discourse, as it is a conversational illustration of dichotomy, and creates a lasting impression on the viewers. These constructs have evolved over time; relatively differing based on culture, but still persist in a homogeneous way across the societies. Exploring the culture of grooming in the male domain may modify the conventions of beauty and alternatively, it may help to think the female body not just as a subject of beauty, predominantly present in the history of art.
Growing as a 90’s kid in Delhi, I have noticed the shift after neo-liberal policies in India, how urban men were slowly and gradually demolishing traditional concepts of rugged masculinity. Further, the works of Mark Simpson helps me to understand the genesis and progression of ‘metrosexsuality’ in the urban landscapes of India and how the commercial pervasiveness of the men’s grooming industry has worked to cohesively to shift the public mindset.
Through my paintings with different modes of installation, I have conferred this idea in different metropolitan cities of India and abroad which delivered a potent mix of how cultural appropriation shapes choices in beauty and value are placed on appearance, shifting from traditional societal roles. Reflecting on the renaissance, as grooming and standards of beauty are fusing into self-care necessity, it operates beyond the periphery of masculine and feminine.