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Artists > Cop Shiva

Cop Shiva

Exhibition
COUNTRY

India

Cop Shiva is an artist/photographer and earns his name from his earlier occupation in the Police department. Shiva documents the complexity of rural and urban India, focusing on people and portraiture as a genre. He is fascinated with the idea of masquerade and the roles people play in public and private. His works includes portraits of urban migrants, people of alternative sexuality, street performers etc. living in the hinterland of urban and rural conflict; a representation of a diversity and spirit of our times.

Artist Statement
This series is a result of the photographer’s interactions with Vidyasagar – a Bangalore resident who would dress up every day as M G. Ramachandran, the politician and a Tamil film icon who cast an overpowering influence on the politics and cinema of Southern India. The intimate portraits are located in Vidyasagar’s home, a private space invaded by Shiva to ‘capture’ the vulnerability, warmth and acceptance of Vidyasagar aka MGR. This work negotiates a lived reality and questions masquerade as an act. The manipulation of identity through disguise and the idea of taking on a new persona is in many ways a comment on the prevalent influence of cinema in the socio-cultural context of South India. The artist captures the dichotomy of a split personality and the duality by photographing a man, who spent his life masquerading as someone other than his true self. The series delves into polarized ideas of reality and fantasy.Cop Shiva is an artist/photographer and earns his name from his earlier occupation in the Police department. Shiva documents the complexity of rural and urban India, focusing on people and portraiture as a genre. He is fascinated with the idea of masquerade and the roles people play in public and private. His works includes portraits of urban migrants, people of alternative sexuality, street performers etc. living in the hinterland of urban and rural conflict; a representation of a diversity and spirit of our times. Concept Note / Artist statement about the work: This series is a result of the photographer’s interactions with Vidyasagar – a Bangalore resident who would dress up every day as M G. Ramachandran, the politician and a Tamil film icon who cast an overpowering influence on the politics and cinema of Southern India. The intimate portraits are located in Vidyasagar’s home, a private space invaded by Shiva to ‘capture’ the vulnerability, warmth and acceptance of Vidyasagar aka MGR. This work negotiates a lived reality and questions masquerade as an act. The manipulation of identity through disguise and the idea of taking on a new persona is in many ways a comment on the prevalent influence of cinema in the socio-cultural context of South India. The artist captures the dichotomy of a split personality and the duality by photographing a man, who spent his life masquerading as someone other than his true self. The series delves into polarized ideas of reality and fantasy.

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