Still Life, Portrait, Landscape

Tara Kelton’s first exhibit in Spain

Nov 17 2020 to Jan 30, 2021

Can the art history canon adapt to digital globalization? What is the role of an artist when the relationship between cultural production and cultural consumption is blurred by the digital paradigm?

Subverting the tropes of Western art history through technology, the work of Indian-American artist Tara Kelton poses these questions with poignant humor. 3D interpretations of Cézanne’s still lives, self-portraits commissioned from Amazon workers, and plen air painting references on a virtual reality platform are some of the ways Kelton disrupts art clichés with playful irony. The artist also invites us to explore her city, Bengaluru, the “Silicon Plateau” of India, where technology companies around the world source both skilled and unskilled labor. Where do you fit into this global economy of ours?

Still Life with a Curtain2016

The result of a two-stage process in which the artist paid online workers to describe a popular Cezanne painting. She then engaged 3D rendering studios in Bangalore to create digital simulations of the workers’ descriptions. Series of six. Digital prints on archival paper (images), UV prints on textured wallpaper (texts)

Guided Tours2014-2019

Human camera “handlers” discovered assisting Google Maps’ cameras as they documented popular tourist sites in India.

Guided Tour (Taj Mahal)

Video 1’34’’

Guided Tour (Gateway of India)

Video 44’’

Guided Tour (Mysore Palace)

Video 3’50’’

Islands2020

Series created using components from the digital libraries of a Bangalore real estate company. Series of five. Digital prints on archival paper

Landscapes2020

Blind drawings created while the artist wore a VR headset and travelled through Sansar, a popular oasis for self-expression, exploration, and live events. Marker on vinyl

Autoportrait2012

Anonymous online workers were paid $.50 each to draw their own portrait in a custom software that combines their drawings in real-time. Video 7’48’’ Custom software application in browser

Leonardo2011

A portrait “drawing” machine at a shopping mall is made to create a self portrait, by placing a mirror inside the portrait booth. Video 53’’

Time Travel2010

A video camera at the front of a train transmits images to a computer at the back of the train in order to travel through time. Video 10’53’’

The River by DisneyHuntress2019

Kelton appropriates content from the Sansar platform to reference the tradition of plen air painting and generate tension between the real and the virtual. Video 4’8’’

Frame with Picture (Apple, iOS 9.1)2018

Emojis that describe "art" in texting communication. Different icons that have appeared on smartphones since 2015. Digital print on archival canvas