Perhaps the only artist to refer to his studio as a ‘factory’ and his artworks as ‘Chintan Upadhyay Unlimited;’ the nature of Chintan Upadhyay’s probes begin with an incessant need to touch on raw nerves and inconvenient truths. More often than not, the vessels of his art are what he calls 'smart alec' babies: babies which are mutated, cloned, distorted and often blown-up to improbable dimensions. The grinning babies provide the artist with a versatile language, which addresses a wide-range of social issues. One common theme in Upadhyay's work is cloning and mechanical reproductions, and the subsequent questions of originality and identity that are aptly highlighted by his unsettlingly identical, sleek and flawless babies.
Upadhyay further erodes the concept of identity by superimposing colorful scenes from Rajasthani miniatures onto the sculpted babies, suggesting perhaps, that identity is merely a marker, placed on humanity at birth and worn like clothing. His critique of the postmodern hyper-capitalist global system is profoundly present in the form, medium, and methodology of his work, as he challenges the homogenizing force of cityscapes.
Born in 1972, at Partapur, Rajasthan, Upadhyay moved to Vadodara to train at the Faculty of Fine Arts, where he received his BFA and MFA in 1995 and 1997 respectively. Since then, he has had successful solos in London, Paris, Taipei, Brisbane, Bristol, Mumbai and New Delhi. He was also invited to be part of group exhibitions at San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose; Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Taipei; Asian Art Biennale, National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taichung, Taiwan; and National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai and New Delhi.