Subodh Kerkar

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Subodh Kerkar
Dr Subodh Kerkar at TEDxGEC in 2017
Subodh Kerkar in 2017
Born (1959-08-26) 26 August 1959 (age 59)
ResidenceGoa, India
Alma materGoa Medical College
Known for
  • Painting
  • sculpting
  • installation art
AwardsBusan Biennale Award (2006)

Subodh Kerkar (born 26 August 1959) is a Goan painter, sculptor and installation artist, and founder of the private art gallery Museum of Goa.[1] He is known for his artworks and installations, which have been displayed both on Goan beaches and abroad, including at art exhibitions such as the Sculpture by the Sea in 2011[2] and the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 2018.[3] One of his recent installations is the 2017 Carpet of Joy.[4] Another, a 2018 photo exhibition on fishermen (chosen for the Royal Academy exhibition), was chosen by filmmaker Bharat Bala to be the subject of a documentary.[5] He has been invited to speak at places like Visva-Bharati University[6] and the Van Gogh Museum.[7]

Early life[edit]

Subodh Kerkar was born on 26 August 1959 in Pernem, Goa. The son of an art teacher, he always took an interest in art. Upon growing up, he became a student leader, with many cartoons to his credit.[8] He joined Goa Medical College and became a doctor by profession. Following this, he ran a hospital and private practice for a few years in Calangute, until he quit and decided to become an artist.[6][9]


Kerkar began his career in art as a water colourist. He soon emerged as an eminent water colourist in Goa, and later in the rest of India. He also explored art from around the world, and was soon attracted to installations and land art.[6]

In 1987, he started his own art gallery, in Calangute, Goa. It was named the "Kerkar Art Complex", and had an open-air auditorium. He also began to exhibit at art galleries across the country.[6]

In the 2000s, Kerkar began his foray into the field of "land art". He began by creating sculptures from scrap and garbage. In 2002, he created an installation artwork named Tenth Planet. In 2005, he followed with Sea Anemone.[10] During Goa's first IFFI in 2004, Kerkar was chosen to set up 500 metres of installations along Miramar beach.[11]

Following this, he was invited by some international biennales and art projects to create public sculptures.[12] He created a work titled The Sea Remembers on Dubai's beach.[10] He has since displayed his work on Goan beaches, and also in countries like Switzerland, South Korea, Macau, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Portugal and Australia.[6]

In 2009, Kerkar launched an art exhibition in Mumbai to mark the anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai attacks.[13]

In 2011, he was invited by the Dean of Visva-Bharati University at Shantiniketan, to conduct a workshop.[6] In the same year, he created a fibre glass sculpture of a robot with an ass’ head.[14]

Some of his art exhibits include Pepper Cross[15] and Anchored Ocean.[16][17]

In 2013, his sculpture named Chicken Cafreal (after the dish of the same name) was selected for the Sculpture by the Sea exhibition and competition in Australia.[2] This was his third time getting selected there, after The Chilly (a huge red fibreglass chilly) in 2012.[18][19]

At the India Art Fair in 2014, he showcased an artwork titled Palm Leaves, reminiscing his childhood in Goa, where palm trees are commonly found.[20]

In 2015, he sold his art gallery and founded a new one, called Museum of Goa.[1][21] The museum features many kinds of artwork, including works based on the ocean.[22]

In 2017, he created the Carpet of Joy – an artwork to protest the excessive littering in Goa, on the 100th anniversary of Gandhi’s first experiment of satyagraha (which Gandhi began in Champaran on April 10, 1917).[4] It used 1,50,000 discarded plastic bottles, collected from beaches and hotels in Goa, to weave a carpet.[23][24] To celebrate the anniversary, Kerkar also worked with a team of software engineers and Dmytro Dokunov, a digital artist from Ukraine, to create an augmented reality smartphone app called "Gandhi AR", which would display a bust of Gandhi when pointed at any Indian currency (which features Gandhi on it).[25][26][27]

In 2018, Kerkar's photo exhibition of fishermen was chosen for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.[3] Later, it inspired filmmaker Bharat Bala to make a documentary on it.[5]

Kerkar delivers lectures in India and abroad, such as Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum[7] and University College London.[28][29] He has also spoken at various TEDx events[30][31][32] and at INKtalks.[33]


In 2009, Kerkar launched an exhibition of sketches of Lord Ganesha. Organizations such as the Sanatan Sanstha called for protests, while others like the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and the Shri Samarth Ramdas Seva Bhakti Mandal chose to file a police complaint under Section 149 of the Indian Penal Code, for hurting religious sentiments. Kerkar alleged that he received threats on his life for his work.[34]

In 2013, he faced allegations of corruption by Manohar Parrikar, to win a contract for a sculpture for a government body.[35]



  1. ^ a b Menezes, Vivek (June 16, 2017). "Goa's invisible artscape". LiveMint. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  2. ^ a b "Goa: Sculpture inspired from chicken dish selected for Australian exhibition". Jagran Post. Jul 3, 2013. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  3. ^ a b Suhasini, Lalitha (Jul 1, 2018). "A new wave". Pune Mirror. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  4. ^ a b "Reclaiming Gandhi: An Artist's Vision". The Wire. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  5. ^ a b "Capturing the romance of the sea, the fishermen and every breaking wave". oHeraldo. Feb 10, 2018. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Ilavia, Perin (Aug 20, 2014). "Subodh Kerkar". Goa Streets. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  7. ^ a b "Dr Subodh Kerkar delivers lecture on ocean and art at prestigeous Amsterdam Vana Gogh Museum". Viva Goa. July 28, 2015. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  8. ^ Gairola Khanduri, Ritu (2014). Caricaturing Culture in India: Cartoons and History in the Modern World. Cambridge University Press. p. 160. ISBN 978-1107043329.
  9. ^ "Subodh Kerkar's profile on SaffronArt". Saffronart. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  10. ^ a b M.L., Johny (December 2010). "A Crusader of/for Site Specific Public Art: Subodh Kerkar". Art News & Views. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  11. ^ "Kerkar Art Complex". GOA PRISM. July 7, 2014. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  12. ^ "Subodh Kerkar to create 'the pyramid' at Art Chennai". The Hindu. 2012-03-14. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  13. ^ Sabitha, T.P. (Nov 9, 2009). "When Death Came from the Ocean: Subodh Kerkar at Work". ArtSlant. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  14. ^ Nadkarni, Vithal C. (Oct 13, 2011). "Who's the Real Ass?". The Economic Times. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  15. ^ "Pepper Cross E Catalogue". Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  16. ^ Sachin, Ambica (May 16, 2009). "Art is all about wetting new sands". Khaleej Times. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  17. ^ Satchidanandan, K. (June 28, 2013). "Dialogues with history". Frontline. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  18. ^ Rangachari, Gayatri (Dec 6, 2012). "Art in public view". Business Line. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  19. ^ "Red hot chilli peppers". Indian Link. 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  20. ^ Ganguly, Srijany (Feb 2, 2014). "A stuffed dear, giant palm leaves, and an army made if light bulbs: India Art Fair brings together artists with big visions". Daily Mail Online. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  21. ^ Ray, Kunal (Oct 15, 2015). "Finding his muse in the museum". The Hindu. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  22. ^ Sonak, Sangeeta. Marine Shells of Goa: A Guide to Identification. Goa: Springer. p. 200. ISBN 9783319550978.
  23. ^ Dikshit, V. (Apr 29, 2017). "Turning 1,50,000 Plastic Bottles Into Gandhian Art". The Wire. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  24. ^ Chandan (2017-04-10). "Carpet of Joy- An installation by Doctor Subodh Kerkar". ItsGoa. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  25. ^ Suhasini, Lalitha (Dec 24, 2017). "Small Talk: In defence of the Mahatma". Pune Mirror. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  26. ^ Umachandran, Shalini (Apr 30, 2017). "How smart art is set to bring the Mahatma to life". The Times of India. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  27. ^ "DEFdialogue with Subodh Kerkar". Digital Empowerment Foundation. 2017-07-21. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  28. ^ "About art and architecture". Navhind Times. Jan 3, 2019. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  29. ^ UCL (2018-07-03). "Indian Ocean Histories and Modern Art: A Discussion with Subodh Kerkar". Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS). Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  30. ^ Monte de Silva, Fernando (Jul 28, 2017). "Have you met the other TED?". oHeraldo. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  31. ^ "Talking about Art at TedxGEC". The Goan. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  32. ^ TEDx Talks (2015-04-17), Exploring history through art | Subodh Kerkar | TEDxBITSGoa, retrieved 2018-11-26
  33. ^ "INK Conference 2016 successfully completes its 7th edition - Media Infoline". Media Infoline. 2016-09-20. Retrieved 2018-11-26.
  34. ^ "Dr Subodh Kerkar Fears for His Life After Hindu Groups Protested Against Him". Aug 18, 2009. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  35. ^ "Subodh Kerkar dares CM to file FIR against him". Goa News. Feb 7, 2013. Retrieved 2019-01-10.
  36. ^ a b "Ontdek beeldhouwer, installatiekunstenaar, schilder Subodh Kerkar" [Discover sculptor, installation artist, painter Subodh Kerkar]. (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-11-26.

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