Rohit Chawla - The Inspired Frame

The Inspired Frame featuring photographs by fashion photographer, Rohit Chawla, showcases works from two of his series and pays tribute to two renowned and seminal artists: Raja Ravi Varma & Gustav Klimt. Reconstructing tableaus and compositions as featured in the famous works of these artists, Chawla photographs his contemporary models to (re)present life-like experiences of their paintings. 

Raja Ravi Varma, known to many as the father of Indian modernism, was one of India’s most popular portraiture artists. Borrowing heavily from Indian mythology, Ravi Varma used the European technique of realism in oil painting to produce spectacular portraits that were most widely disseminated through their use in calendar art. Chawla, lamenting the current trend in Indian fashion photography to jettison its rich cultural heritage, attempts in these photographs to relive and recreate his legacy of a unique visual frame of reference.

Gustav Klimt, the Austrian symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Secession movement is known for his celebration of the female body and the erotic and particularly famous for works produced in what has later been termed his ‘Golden Phase’. Reconstructing many works from this period, Chawla’s photographs are enabled by the efforts of master craftman, Manoranjan Mukherjee who created the props, the accessories, and the iconic sets seen here, that vie for attention with the foreground and models. Recreating Klimt’s Byzantine imagery, his vivid juxtaposition of colours, the sheer sensuality and luxury of his work, Chawla’s photographs translate into photography his unique poetic form that may be seen as the ultimate mode of ornament.

Exhibition Schedule


22 October - 31 October 2021

The Harrington Street Arts Centre
8 Ho Chi Minh Sarini 
Harrington Mansions 2nd Floor
Flat no.5 & 25B
Kolkata 700071 


08 March - 18 March 2022

Bikaner House
Pandara Rd, Pandara Flats
Near India Gate
New Delhi, Delhi - 110011



01 April - 22 April 2022

Akara Art
#32, B K Boman Behram Marg
Apollo Bandar
Colaba, Mumbai
Maharashtra 400001


09 June - 30 June 2022

Sua House
26/1 Kasturba Cross Road
Bangalore - 560001