Modern and Contemporary Art from India
February 25, 2011 through September 4, 2011, San Jose Museum of Art
  UNTITLED (Designer Baby), 2008
Mixed media on fiberglass, metal cage
53 x 29 x 29 inches
Private collection
Photo: Courtesy Ashish Balram Nagpal Galleries, Mumbai
Chintan Upadhyay
Born 1972, Partapur, Rajasthan, India
Lives and works in Mumbai (formerly Bombay)
Each season, Chintan Upadhyay introduces a “new model” baby—a mass-produced sculpture that intentionally mocks consumer society’s obsession with the “new.” The babies embody the artist’s alter-egos, each representing a certain mindset or personality with unique characteristics and symbolic embellishment. In Designer Baby, the child features the tattoo markings of a sun bearing a face—a symbol associated with the Mewar princely state and one of India’s landowning patrilineal clans. The cage suggests a dual need for protection and control. Upadhyay explained: “Art has become like pets. … Art is costly and needs special care and treatment. I play upon this association between pets and works of art. Perhaps, my babies have become so mischievous that they need to be caged.” 1

1Chintan Upadhyay, quoted in Sinha Praveer, “Putting heart and money into the art domain,” March 4, 2009,