Subodh Gupta accused of sexual harassment, artist denies claims

Subodh Gupta. Photo: Serge Leblon

Subodh Gupta has been accused of being a 'serial sexual harasser', with an anonymous post on the 'Scene and Herd' Instagram account alleging the Indian artist made unwanted sexual advances, uninvited physical contact, offered massages to employees and made vulgar comments.

Speaking to the First Post, Gupta refutes the claims. '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.'

The Instagram account – which is not affiliated to the Artforum blog of the same name – was set up in October to air grievances against men in the South Asian artworld.

The unnamed author of the post says she worked for Gupta, who is guest curating the Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa, which opens tomorrow (15 December), and was on the receiving end of 'unwanted touching'. Gupta's accuser goes on to list numerous other incidents shared with her by other women.

Rosalyn D'mello, a critic, who has worked with Nature Morte, one of Gupta's galleries, wrote in the comments to the post 'I am writing this here to bear witness. I know it will come at a huge personal cost and may directly impact my livelihood as an art writer. Since September, I learned about almost all the instances mentioned in the herdandscene testimony. I could not speak about it because they were not my truths to tell, and I was told them in confidence, and the survivors didn't feel ready to come out. I will write more about this later. But if it helps anyone, I want to state that the post pertaining to Subodh is not "made up" or isn't "revenge" or isn't "attention-seeking".'

14 December 2018

This story was updated to include a response from Subodh Gupta