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Shelly Bahl
Brooklyn, NY

ARTIST STATEMENT: I am an interdisciplinary artist working in drawing, painting, sculpture/ installation, photography and video. Within my art practice I was initially investigating the history and exotification of Indian art and culture, and my mixed-media works questioned the practices of Orientalism, kitsch appropriation, and the mass-production and consumption of culturally-specific iconography. My recent projects explore the strange and surreal aspects of cultural hybridity. I am interested in how distinct cultural experiences have shaped us all, and I am also researching the points where these distinctions overlap, and where unique, hybrid and odd cultural phenomenon emerge. The narratives in my interdisciplinary projects address issues of cultural dislocation and the cultural schizophrenia that can occur in the translation/ transmutation of time and space. I am specifically interested in the contemporary transmission of visual culture, and the surreal experiences of women who lead trans-cultural lives. These narratives are based in facts and fictions rooted in specific cultural histories, which I then re-contextualize and re-imagine.

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Shelly Bahl is a visual and media artist born in Benares, India, raised in Toronto and currently based in New York City. She received her B.F.A. (Visual Art and Art History) from York University, Toronto and her M.A. (Studio Art) from New York University. Her interdisciplinary work in drawing, painting, sculpture/ installation, photography and video has appeared in a number of solo and group exhibitions in North America and internationally.

Her recent projects include group exhibitions at: Villa Terrace Museum, Milwaukee; Shirin Gallery, NY; Queens Museum of Art, NY; India International Centre Gallery, Delhi; Twelve Gates Gallery, Philadelphia; ART ASIA Miami, FL; Gallery 400, University of Illinois Chicago, IL; White Box, NY; Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, BC; India Art Summit, Delhi; Asian Arts Initiative, Philadelphia; and Aicon Gallery, NY.

She has presented solo exhibitions at: Bronx River Art Center, NY; LEE Ka-sing Gallery, Toronto; Design Exchange Museum, Toronto; Gallery 198, London, UK; Richmond Art Gallery, Vancouver; Gallery 44, Toronto; Khyber Centre For the Arts, Halifax, NS; M.Y. Art Prospects, NY; Art Folio Gallery, Chandigarh; Women’s Art Resource Centre Gallery, Toronto; and other venues.

Bahl has participated in short and long-term artist residencies at: Religare Arts Initiative, Delhi; Artists Alliance, NY; Banff Centre For the Arts; Matucana 100, Santiago; Vermont Studio Center; and Sanskriti Kendra Foundation, Delhi.

Her artwork has received significant critical attention, and has been reviewed in the New York Times, Time Out Delhi, NOW Magazine, National Post, Hamilton Spectator, Asian Art News, World Sculpture News, Art India, Vancouver Sun, Art Asia Pacific, New Art Examiner, FUSE Magazine, and other publications.

Bahl is a founding artist member of SAVAC (South Asian Visual Arts Centre) and ZEN-MIX 2000: Pan-Asian Visual Arts Network in Toronto. From 2012-16, she served on the Board of Directors for the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective in NYC. She has also received a number of visual arts production grants and fellowships for independent projects and artistic collaborations.

She has also worked with a number of arts organizations as an educator, curator and arts programmer. She is currently teaching at Saint Francis College and has previously taught at the University of Toronto, Ontario College of Art and Design University, Alfred University, Pratt Institute and Vermont College of Fine Art.

Her artwork can be viewed at:

647 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217


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