Talented young Indian artist Bharti Kher’s exhausted elephant

Indian artist Bharti Ker has been in the news this week, since one of her three bindi-speckled elephant sculptures The Skin Speaks a Language not its Own is up for auction at Sotheby’s. Much is being made of the symbolism of this fatigued looking animal, sprawling on its side as if about to breathe its last. Is it India the critics ask? And, if so, is it so tired it’s about to die, or is this sleeping giant poised to spring to its feet?

While it’s unlikely Ker’s elephant is going to topple the auction record for a contemporary Indian work (£2.7m for Raqib Shaw’s The Garden of Earthly Delights III), it is expected to bring in a cool million.

The catalogue introducing the sculpture said: “Kher plays on the pluralism of ancient Indian customs juxtaposed with modern Western values and as the inherent contradiction of the title The Skin Speaks a Language… suggests, outward appearance and inner values do not always coalesce…

See Bharti Ker’s page at Hauser & Wirth here.

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