Bharti Kher

Born 1969 – India

Bharti Kher makes surreal sculptures, paintings, and installations that add a sense of magic and beauty to everyday objects—the traditional bindi, in particular.

Kher is renowned for her sculptures, which often dazzle and resemble strange, chimerical beasts: she has covered a vacuum in animal hides and sculpted a fiberglass tree with delicate, fantastical animal heads in place of leaves. The bindi—a traditional Indian symbol of domesticity, fashion, religious devotion, and spirituality—adorns her three-dimensional pieces and swirls within her paint.

To the artist, the bindi is a mutable medium rather than a motif; Kher wants to defamiliarize and abstract it in innumerable ways. She has exhibited widely around the world and enjoyed solo shows in New Delhi, New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam, among other cities. Her work has sold for seven figures at auction and belongs in the collections of the Tate and British Museum among others.