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sepia EYE: Bhupendra Karia

Bhupendra Karia

Image

b. 1936 India
d. 1994 America

Karia’s thoughtful and luminous photographs, created primarily in India and Israel, reflect a distinct approach separate from the popular photographic trend of street photography in India during 1970s/1960s. Karia says, “[India] is not without great beauty and tenderness – a pensive wistful, wildflower kind of beauty, accidentally encountered in the most unsuspected situations. There is a recondite part of being Indian, the attachment to Indian landscape.” His photographs possess an ethereal yet formally rigorous quality, deeply steeped in both cultural awareness and personal vision.

James Brewer writes, “… Karia used to refer to “listening to India with one’s eyes,” and these [photographs reveal] the patience and sympathy for the subjects to do just that.” (“India in the frame again: New Pre-Raphaelites and Post-Colonial Shadows,” 2010)

Bhupendra Karia attended Bombay’s Sir J.J. College of Art, for Fine Art. From 1957-1960, Karia continued his graduate studies at Tokyo University of Fine Arts. During this time he began his photographic career, and returned to India as a freelance photographer. After teaching and heading photography and design departments at the University of Southern California and the University of Baroda, Karia worked with Cornell Capa, his mentor and friend, in establishing the International Center for Photography in New York. Karia held many positions at ICP including Curator, Director of Special Projects, and Associate Director. He published over 15 titles and curated over 45 exhibitions.

Stillness and Shadows, an exhibition of Karia’s work shown at Rossi Rossi (London, January, 2010) will travel to the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Tampa, in September 2010. Karia’s photographic works have been collected by the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi; Museum of Contemporary Art, Milan, Italy and private collections internationally.

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