A curator of the Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa and renowned contemporary artist, Subodh Gupta, has withdrawn from his position at the festival in light of recent sexual misconduct allegations against him, reports The Indian Express.
Gupta has vehemently denied any wrongdoing, calling the #MeToo accusation against him ‘false and fabricated’.
Multiple women had anonymously come forward on the ‘Scene and Herd’ Instagram account to share details of being sexually harassed by Gupta. In his defence, he stated, “I deny the anonymous allegations made on the Instagram account @herdsceneand in their entirety. I have never behaved in an inappropriate manner with any individual who worked with me and several of my former assistants can attest to this. These allegations are entirely false and fabricated.”
Gupta’s work is internationally recognised and he is famously known as ‘King of Screaming Metal’ and the ‘Damien Hirst of Delhi’. His art is famous for the use of everyday objects like stainless steel utensils to create immense sculptures.
For its part, the Serendipity Arts Festival released an internal statement to its curators in which it reiterated its focus on creating an inclusive and responsible space for artists. The statement revealed that although Gupta maintained his innocence, he would withdraw from his involvement at the fest to avoid detracting from the works of artists participating there this year.
Previously in October, another art curator at the fest, Riyas Komu, had been similarly caught up in a #MeToo scandal emanating from the same Instagram handle ‘Scene and Herd’. Komu had also withdrawn from his position at the fest.
The art world has also seen other well-known names becoming embroiled in the wave of #MeToo allegations, such as painter Jatin Das and MD of Sotheby’s India Gaurav Bhatia.