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Sunil Gupta is an artist, writer, activist and curator. He was part of the gay rights movement in India after his return to New Delhi in 2005, after 35 years in Canada, Europe and the US.
Gupta's photography is an autobiographical engagement with issues of gender, sexuality, displacement, and since his diagnosis in 1995, HIV. His direct images challenge the viewer, asking them to confront the hypocritical juxtaposition of accepted, normative structures within alternative social realities.
Gupta's series of images The New Pre-Raphaelites was produced in response to Autograph Director Mark Sealy's commission on work related to the Human Rights agenda. At that pivotal moment in LGBTQ history in India, Gupta sought inspiration from the Pre-Raphaelites as his response to the contentious issue of section 377, a British-born law from 1864 making gay sex illegal; a law finally overturned on 6 September 2018.
In The New Pre-Raphaelites, the colorfully dressed or nude real life queer models imitate the classical poses of the 19th century sitters against exotic backdrops, as mythology meets the modern day ‘criminal’ in the spaces in between.
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