TED Fellows » TED Fellows Network » Sharmistha Ray

Sharmistha Ray


Fellows Class:
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Sharmistha Ray

Professional Role

Current Titles:

Artist, TED Fellow

Current Organizations:

Sharmistha Ray Studio, Art Basel, TED, L'Oreal Paris, Mont Blanc, Joan Mitchell Foundation


Uploaded Photos

Flickr Photostream


hidden geographies (solo exhibition), Mumbai, 2012
01/18/2012 – 02/18/2012
Hidden Geographies references historical styles like Romanticism and Impressionism and the lyrical agency of female vanguard painters, while positing a contrary paradigm to Western art historical ideals, evident in the artist's choice of color and dense patterning. These metascapes are suspended in time between mythos and reality exposing an intimate topography of the subconscious mind. Mumbai, 18 January - 18 February 2012.
Project Website »

Reflections + Transformations (solo exhibition), New York, 2013
10/24/2013 – 11/24/2013

Museum of Memories, Godrej India Culture Lab
12/15/2012 – present
Their Blood Is On The Wall (2012) was a one-day site-specific project in a derelict warehouse in an industrial area of Mumbai. The concept driving the work was to insert the aesthetic into the post-functional, turning a weight-bearing structure into a momentary work of art. The horrific Connecticut shootings served as motivation for the piece, engaging the idea of painting as social metaphor. Mumbai, 5 December 2012.
Project Website »

Mont Blanc Young Artist Worldwide Patronage Program Commission, 2012
? – present
The Infinite Dome (2012) takes the snow-laden landscape of the Alpine mountains as a starting point and transposes the Mont Blanc five-point star logo upon it in a way such that both layers synthesize into one plane, creating both a physical and metaphorical unity in form and meaning. This piece was commissioned by the Mont Blanc Young Artist Worldwide Patronage Programme and is now a part of their permanent collection.

TED Talk, TED Fellows Retreat, 2013
? – present


I would best describe myself as a diaspora artist with roots in Mumbai and New York. I was born in Kolkata to Bengali parents (mainly from former East Bengal), who settled first in the U.K. in the 60's and 70's and later, in Kuwait, in the Middle East. My father - an insatiable adventurer - decided in the prime of his middle age, to move his wife and four children to the United States for "a better life." It took me a while to realize what "a better life" meant. I spent close to a decade in the United States, attending Williams College in Massachusetts, and then Pratt Institute in New York for graduate studies. Inheriting my father's wild itch for adventure, I moved to India in 2006, to Kolkata and then, Mumbai. The back drop of my life, and to the multiple migrations, has been one protracted 'coming out' story, played out in variations in my work - which spans both abstraction and figuration. After a few years in India, working on the commercial side of the art business, I decided to change track and do what I really loved to do. The multiple narratives had started to explode inside of me, and I knew I wanted to live a creative life. I returned to making art full time in 2011, and in 2012, my professional debut solo exhibition of abstract paintings, 'hidden geographies,' in Mumbai was a runaway success. The exhibition consisted of large, densely painted meta-scapes with the recurring theme of submerged female sexuality. Many leading publications across India featured the exhibition, including Vogue, Grazia, Femina, Indian Express and Bombay Times. That same year, I was also awarded a commission by the Mont Blanc Young Artist Worldwide Patronage Collection & featured in India Today as one of India's leading diaspora artists. In 2013, I was shortlisted as Artist of the Year for the L'Oreal Paris Femina Women Awards, and I have an upcoming solo exhibition - Reflections + Transformations - at Aicon Gallery in New York. The new work extends visualities around gender and sexuality issues in India. This show will be followed by a solo exhibition at Galerie Steph in Singapore in January 2014. I am a TED Fellow from the Class of TEDIndia 2009 - and I unabashedly admit, TED changed my life! The process of finding my voice "to make a difference" has been a gradual unveiling. To be continued...

Fun facts

Favorite meal:
Dal, rice and chicken curry - Bengali style. After long journeys and being away from home, that's all my heart desires - a steaming plate of comfort food, a hot shower and a long nap. I can take on the world after that :-)

Vital Stats

Fellows Class
Living in
Mumbai, India
Working in
Mumbai, India
Born in
Kolkata, India


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