Tarini Sethi b. 1989


b. 1989 in Delhi, India


Piano notes float down the stairs and into the street from the little house on the first floor. Inside, the walls and surfaces are crowded with obscure paintings and artifacts collected from every corner of the subcontinent. Patachitra, Kalighat, Miniature, Dokra, Kalamkari, Kavad, Tollubommalu - forms and styles differ, but each piece tells a story, immortalises legend, or brings myth to life. At the dining table, surrounded by this folk art, a girl scrawls emphatically on a sheet of paper. There are no boxy houses and cookie-cutter clouds here. Just endless, irreverent figures that consume every inch of space.


Born into an artists’ household, Tarini Sethi has been exploring themes of sexuality, bodily autonomy and world-building in her art since her early teens. Her intricate works often center goddess-like women in unabashed poses. They are nude, multi-limbed, and accompanied by chimerical animals. The worlds they inhabit are also surrealistic, complex and layered. Columns and staircases, windows and balconies, each hosts a different scene. These may appear crowded at first, but upon observation, the viewer can discern order and stages to the storytelling.


Primarily working in metal, ink and acrylic, Sethi makes fantastical works that push the limits of mainstream imagination. Her art reveals those early folk influences from her childhood as well as a latterday fascination for Shunga, or Japanese erotic art.

Over her decade-long career, Sethi has moved from a focus on portraiture and the human body to now placing these bodies within intricate architectural forms and bustling social settings. In her work, the viewer will find a sense of liberation, madness, desire and ecstasy.   


Sethi holds a BA in Political Science from Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi, and a BFA in Drawing from Pratt institute, New York. She is the Founder and Curator of The Irregulars Art Fair, and has exhibited across the world.