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Gigi Scaria

Indian Contemporary Artist
Born 1973, Kothanalloor, Kerala, India
Lives and works in New Delhi

Gigi Scaria’s art focuses on issues surrounding the implications of the city’s rapid urbanisation approach. Highly experimental, he works with several media such as installations, screen prints, photography, painting and sculpture. He is also involved with welfare projects and expresses activism through art for social and political change.



Master of Fine Arts (Painting), Jamia Millia University, New Delhi


Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting), College of Fine Arts, Thiruvananthapuram




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He experiments with multi-media art to explore the city as an outsider

Gigi Scaria’s experiments with various media interlinked and juxtaposed is to create a new medium in itself. In his work, Amusement Park, single channel video with sound, 2007, he employs sound, moving images and photographic images to juxtapose with one another. Various images are arranged in the form of a collage, as Scaria himself points out. His painting Options of a master plan/court, 2006, suggests an essence of alienation, and in the video Amusement Park, 2007, he notifies the various functions of the city as an amusing adventure for outsiders who attempt to fit in.

Gigi Scaria, Amusement park, 2009, video, 5mins, single channel with sound.

Gigi Scaria, Someone left a horse on the shore, 2009, digital print on archival paper, 109 x 164 cm

In his Someone left a horse on the shore, he employs the Trojan Horse myth to explore issues of land and opportunity in the city. Delhi as a city is contantly under construction, ever expanding, so that the boundaries are not fixed and the peripheries are being converted into gated societies. This usurption of space is significant for him in terms of the city in most of his works.

He constructs his own maps to highlight hierarchies in spaces and people

The cityscape, as one would notice is not a new feature in Scaria’s works. Several pieces reflect his penchant to explore the urban landscape. Such close reflection suggests an association with maps of the city. This divided and unbalanced structure of the city helps him to construct his own maps,restructuring and negotiating the similar hierarchies in his works.
In the video piece Site Under Construction, 2006, he places class as an important factor of social prejudices and how maps are positioned accordingly.
His interest in the idea of maps, as he mentions, comes from the fact that every line and linear structure lead to a purpose. No set of defined purpose is outside of these marked lines. This astute observation leads to demarcating lines through which he constructs his own maps, thus creating a parodied construct of the map of inclusion and exclusion.

Gigi Scaria, Site Under Construction, 2006, 3-channel video. Installation view.

Scaria's innovative handling of video art gave impetus to the new artistic media in India

Gigi Scaria, clubbed under the new generation of artists who have secured a foothold in the international art scene, has explored the medium of video art to new creative lengths.

Few decades ago, video art was an extremely difficult aesthetic practice for Indian artists. This medium, which began as highly contested (and still continues with its aesthetic concerns), is now being pioneered and sustained by several modern and contemporary Indian artists like Gigi to gain wider acceptance as an artistic medium. This medium also transforms several concerns of art, within the realms of more traditional medium, like paintings, sculptures, etc.  Scaria, in Political Realism, 2009, is exploring the facets of the history of progress and the progress of history, evokes the icons of international politics in order to exemplify the fallen faith and ideologies.

This kind of evocation at one hand is stirring a response from the viewer which art within a canvas is unable to create.

Gigi Scaria, Political Realism, 2009, screen shots from a colour video, single channel with sound, 3 minutes.

Empty spaces highlight the relationship between form and representation

Scaria is skilful in exploring art outside the realm of canvas. Another important factor that consistently finds resemblance in his work is the employment of space, both literally and metaphorically. Here, in observing the literal empty space employment is crucial to reflect some aspects in his art.
In his exhibition “Settlement” in 2009 all sculptural installations are architecturally neat and designed with the aesthetic of minimalism. Someone left a horse on the shore, 2009, Post, 2010, Highlight,2009, Wheel, 2010, are all instances of such work that play with empty space. These sculptures do not occupy large volumes of breadth. Wheel, for instance, is aesthetically designed to play with the empty spaces in between, showing movement and stillness, volume and emptiness, mechanical and humanistic- all reflecting at the same time.

Gigi Scaria, Wheel, 2009, (sculpture) wood, iron, mirror glass, and paint (motor attached), 144 x108 x 54 inches

He humanizes futuristic and mechanical motifs by reinterpreting the cityscape

Scaria explores the humanness of an architectural space, by contesting the possibilities of finding humanistic ideals of a non-human object, created by humans themselves. When he first came to Delhi from a small town in Kerela, he felt alienated from the city and its people. This early experience prompted his works. His engagement with architectural and socail spaces are meant to not only create a dialogue about land and development about create visual metaphors of the surreal in the urban experience.

In Tele Mandir, 2009, the artist is incorporating photographic images that constitute the architectural walls of the temple in the picture, thus providing life to the object which is the building. He is successful in answering contested notions of how alienated and separate are the object, or rather it is in direct association with the lives of people who inhabit and build them.

Gigi Scaria, Tele Mandir, 2009, digital print on archival paper, 64.5 x 43”