Chitra Ganesh was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, where she currently lives and works. Her drawing, installation, text-based work, and collaborations are inspired by buried narratives and marginal figures typically excluded from official canons of history, literature, and art. She is widely recognized for her experimental use of comic and large-scale narrative forms to communicate submerged histories and alternate articulations of femininity to a broader public.
Ganesh draws from a broad range of material, including the iconography of Hindu, Greek and Buddhist mythology, 19th century European portraiture and fairytales, archival photography, and song lyrics, as well as contemporary visual culture such as Bollywood posters, anime, and comic books. Using a process of automatic writing, she probes this visual and textual material to connect seemingly disparate narratives, and reveal uncanny moments of absence and buried desire. Fragments of poetic language cohere with her visual iconography to produce nonlinear narratives of “unforseen desire and untimely loss, ” offering audiences untold tales from both collectively imagined pasts and distant futures.
By layering disparate materials and visual languages, Ganesh asks her viewers to “seek and consider new narratives of sexuality and power.” In this process the body becomes a site of transgression and transformation, both social and psychic, doubled, dismembered and continually exceeding its limits.