A generous smattering of sequins, lace, colourful pieces of paper, nails and hooks can be found in most of Kanchan Chander’s works. Their key features, though, are the printouts and cuttings of various actors that are jazzed up by this paraphernalia that she’s collected in the old markets of Delhi.
So you’ll see Waheeda Rehman’s picture with sequins for hair and lace for clothes while Madhubala’s cut-out is placed on printed paper alongside the iconic image of Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. There’s even one with Michael Jackson, Ricky Martin and Gregory Peck.
“I wanted to be an actor,” says Chander of her inspiration. “This hidden desire is emerging now in the form of art. These actors are icons for me. I print their pictures and then embellish them.”
Another of her icons is late Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, with whose images she’s cheekily stuck her own. “She was a strong personality who I admire and associate myself with. And since she is discussed and respected internationally, it’ll help when I’ll be showing these works in Berlin next,” says Chander.
Aware that her kind of work is usually associated with younger artists, she explains, “I’m getting bolder as I grow older. I’m enjoying experimenting with something that has so much scope. I’m proud to even know words like ‘kitsch’ at my age!”