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 Curtain, 2016
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 Tours, 2014-2019
Human camera “handlers” discovered assisting Google Maps’ cameras as they documented popular tourist sites in India.
Guided Tour (Taj Mahal)
Guided Tour (Gateway of India)
Guided Tour (Mysore Palace)
Series created using components from the digital libraries of a Bangalore real estate company.Series of five. Digital prints on archival paper
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