Part of a generation in the 90s that emerged in the wake of the influence of IT and nouveau riche in Bangalore, Sapna Rao Dube is a painter, printmaker, and muralist.
Dube has said “I am a contemporary artist and I speak an international language, but my interest is in things and behaviors that can only be found in India”.
Influenced by early Indian artists,in particular the work of KK Hebbar, as well as SS Kukke, Op Art and KG Subramanyam’s work, Dube’s work challenges sexual cliches, addresses truth criteria, fallacy, simulation, representation, geometric inexactitude, hybridism, false glitter, synthetic materials, botanical inaccuracy, shifting titles and entropy. Her distinctly Indian, vernacular colour palette and unique motifs reflect a fascination with village Sante/fair and the print designs of popular fabrics, as well as India’s tropical flora, its folk arts and crafts, embroidery, costumes or jewellery. These influences leak into the paintings and emerge as a colourful amalgamation of visual indexes that are able to syncopate high and low culture, art and craft. Dube saturates the surfaces of her work with complex patterns. Some of these elements don’t really come from the painting world. They are in some sort of conflict that will never really end up anywhere. They are not peaceful surfaces.
Dube’s aim is to create compositions with a proliferating, ornamental patterning that keeps the eye moving restlessly across the image surface.
In 2017, Dube was one of six emerging contemporary artists handpicked from across India by Sara Arakkal to exhibit at the prestigious 14th Annual Show at Galerie Sara Arakkal. Noted art critic P Sudhakaran in his review has said that with Dube’s work, ‘we experience the colors flooding the canvas in all its beauty and charm, creating a new symmetry and geometry, and at the same time breaking it. Her work presents a bright picture of the emerging art scene in India.’
In 2017, Dube completed a commission for VR Bengaluru, titled ‘Childhood’, which fills a giant whitewashed wall with her signature colorful patterns. She held her first solo exhibition in 2016 at the Venkatappa Art Gallery, Bangalore and Goethe Institut, Bangalore showcased some of her feminist art work as part of Museum of Memories in 2017. Her work was included as part of Whitefield Art Collective 2017, where the works of 100 leading and emerging contemporary Indian artists was showcased. Dube has also just been appointed as a Creative Arts Consultant to the upcoming Virtuous Retail multi-city public arts festival to be held in Bangalore, Chennai, Chandigarh and Surat in 2017-2018.
She lives and works in Bangalore with her husband and three rather social media savvy dogs who you can find and follow via To Forgive Is Canine on Instagram.