Subodh Kerkar in 2017
|Alma mater||Goa Medical College|
|Awards||Busan 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. 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 and the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 2018. One of his recent installations is the 2017 Carpet of Joy. 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. He has been invited to speak at places like Visva-Bharati University and the Van Gogh Museum.
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. 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.
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.
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. During Goa's first IFFI in 2004, Kerkar was chosen to set up 500 metres of installations along Miramar beach.
Following this, he was invited by some international biennales and art projects to create public sculptures. He created a work titled The Sea Remembers on Dubai's beach. 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.
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. This was his third time getting selected there, after The Chilly (a huge red fibreglass chilly) in 2012.
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). It used 1,50,000 discarded plastic bottles, collected from beaches and hotels in Goa, to weave a carpet. 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).
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.
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