I am an Indian artist living and working in Chicago. My current work explores labor and issues of language and literacy.
My paintings are a social commentary on the division of society through the iconography of labor. Photographs of figures at work—lifting, pulling, pushing, heaving—form the starting point. Reducing the figure to minimal lines lends an almost mechanical form. The resulting paintings showcase slum-dwelling construction workers perched on bamboo-encased skyscrapers, men carting heavy burdens on flimsy carts, and homeless brick workers. They form the metaphors and visual puns of the dichotomy of India.
My sculptures are derived from familiar construction materials procured from my surroundings. With these three-dimensional forms, I try to bring to life some of the aforementioned icons of labor. Bricks, lumber, plaster, and bright house paint recur in my oeuvre. Through this process of hunting, lugging, and working with heavy material, I try to empathize with the workforce that I depict and choose to think of art as labor.
Bringing together images that evoke nostalgia, a didactic narrative, and tactile form, my work tries to capture all that is essentially reminiscent of what I will always perceive as home.
Tulika Ladsariya (b.1980) is a contemporary artist born in Mumbai, India presently based out of Chicago. Initially trained as a chartered accountant, she began her career in wealth management. She moved to London to study at the Chelsea College of Art and Design and worked as a general manager for an art fund and auction house in India. Her work is represented by galleries in Mumbai, Delhi, and Chicago. tulika.ladsariya.com
All images: © 2014 Tulika Ladsariya