Waswo X Waswo with R.Vijay

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Waswo X Waswo with R.Vijay

Waswo X. Waswo is a traveller, poet and photographer born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His works are immediately accessible to the viewer while at the same time contain within them layers of meaning. Waswo poetically transfers narratives into rich and symbolic visuals and with the help of the skilled traditional painter R Vijay.

R. Vijay (born Rakesh Vijayvargiya), is the grandnephew of historic Rajasthani painter Ramgopal Vijayvargiya. Rakesh was tutored by traditional miniaturists Sukdev Singh Sisodiya and Laxmi Narayan Sikaligar.

The duo's fourteen-year long collaboration blends genres and plays intelligently on themes interwoven from history, colonialism, and contemporary identities. In the paintings, Waswo, as the bumbling protagonist who is observed and embraced by Indians, becomes the subject of the work. Issues of Otherness, and the transcendence of the same, becomes a focal point. Waswo and Vijay extend their visual vocabulary to a style reminiscent of Mughal Miniature Paintings, Mewar Court Miniatures, and The Company School. Their miniatures are multi-layered and dense in narrative, with exquisite detailing. Part confessional and part comical, these miniatures are semi-autobiographical, where Waswo’s persona as the white-skinned "fedora man" becomes both problematic and poignant.

The work and lives of both artists have become the subject of a book, The Artful Life of R. Vijay, by Annapurna Garimella [Foreword by Dr. Kavita Singh].

Gallery Espace exclusively represents the miniature paintings by these artists in India.

Waswo X. Waswo’s work is held in collections at the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, USA; The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco; The Museum of Art and Photography, Bangalore; DAG Modern; The William Benton Museum, USA, as well as others.

The artists live and work in Udaipur, Rajasthan.


Waswo X. Waswo

Born in 1953, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
Lives and works in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India



Studio Marangoni, The Center for Contemporary Photography-Florence, Italy


Milwaukee Center for Photography, USA


University of Milwaukee-Wisconsin, USA


Born in 1970, Rajasthan, India

Lives and works in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India


Tutored by Traditional Miniaturists: Sukhdev Singh Sisodiva and Laxmi Narayan Sikaligar



Bodies of Work, Gallery OED, Kochi


Gauri Dancers, Amnavad ni Gufa, Ahmedabad

Like a Leaf in Autumn, Gallery Espace


Ateliér v Rádžastáne , Central European House of Photography, Bratislava


Photowallah, Tasveer/Tarq, Mumbai


Photowallah, Tasveer/National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

Photowallah, Tasveer/Exhibit 320, New Delhi


Waswo X. Waswo: Photographs, Gallerie Minsky, Paris

Confessions of an Evil Orientalist, Obscura Festival of Photography, Penan

A Day in the Country, Indigo Blue Art, Singapore, 2015


Sleeping through the Museum, Official Collateral Project of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale

retro-spective, Harrington Street Arts Centre, Kolkata

Hanuman – New Myths, Serindia Gallery Annex, Bangkok

Sleeping through the Museum, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai


Tinted by Tradition, Indigo Blue Art, Singapore


May Be Removed at Will, Alliance Francaise de Delhi


Confessions of an Evil Orientalist, Gallery Espace, New Delhi
Tinted by Tradition, City Palace Museum, Udaipur
The Men of Rajasthan, Serindia Gallery, Bangkok


New Myths, Bombay Art Gallery, Mumbai
A Studio in Rajasthan, Coromandel Art Gallery, Pondicherry


A Studio in Rajasthan, Galleria Joyce, Genoa, Italy
A Studio in Rajasthan, Palette Art Gallery, New Delhi


A Studio in Rajasthan, Kashi Art Gallery, Cochin


India Poems: The Photographs of Waswo X Waswo, Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee, USA
India Poems: The Photographs, Kashi Art Cafe, Cochin


India Poems: The Photographs, Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai
Photographs by Waswo X. Waswo, Bombay Art Gallery, Mumbai


Waswo X. Waswo Photographs, Preservation Gallery, Milwaukee, USA


India Poems: The Photographs of Waswo X. Waswo, West Zone Cultural Center, Udaipur
India Poems: The Photographs of Waswo X. Waswo, Cymroza Art Gallery, Mumbai


India Poems: The Photographs, travelling exhibition at Alliance Francaise de Bangalore, Alliance Francaise de Goa, Alliance Francaise de Colombo and Alliance Francaise de Kandy, Sri Lanka


Near & Far: Photographs by Waswo X. Waswo and Phil Fisher, Walker’s Point Center for the Arts, Milwaukee, USA


Travels: Michael Koppa / Waswo X. Waswo, The Charles Allis Art Museum, Milwaukee, USA



Cartography of Narratives, Latitude 28 at Bikaner House, New Delhi

BODY, Shanghumugham Art Museum, Thiruvananthapuram


Babur ki Gai, Latitude 28, New Delhi

Laughing in the Vernacular, National Gallery of Modern Art, Mumbai, 2017


50/50 – Photography to Digital Imaging and Back, Birla Academy of Arts and Culture, Kolkata

Culture of the Streets, Aicon Gallery, New York


Morphology of the Archive, Museum of Goa (MOG), Goa


Waswo X. Waswo / Pietro PietromarchiGallery Minsky, Paris

Excavation / Eruption, Vadehra Art Gallery, New Delhi


My Sweet Lord, Gallery 1×1, Dubai


All You Need is Love, Mori Museum of Art, Tokyo
When High and Low Art Meet: A Tribute to Ravi Varma, Lalit Kala Academy, New Delhi
Convergence: New Art from India and the Diaspora, William Benton Museum of Art, USA
Tagore Lost and Found, Art Konsult, New Delhi


pREpellers, Gallery Art & Soul, Chennai


Staging Selves: Power, Performativity and Portraiture, Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai
Fabular Bodies: New Narratives in the Art of the Miniature, Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai


Darmstadt Tage der Fotografie, Darmstadt, Germany


Lo Real Maravilloso: Marvelous Reality, Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi
The Calendar Art Project, Apparao Gallery, New Delhi


Gallery Artists, Barefoot Gallery, Colombo, Sri Lanka


Winter Juried Exhibition, Anderson Arts Center, Kenosha, USA


Gallery Artists, Lakeshore Gallery, Shorewood, Wisconsin, USA


Flash to Trash, Artcentric Gallery, Milwaukee, USA


The Eye of the Camera, Ward Nasse Gallery, New York


Interplay, Galleria del Conte, Milwaukee, USA



s-e-p-a-r-a-t-i-o-n-s, solo booth sponsored by Gallery Espace, India Art Fair



Gauri DancersMapin


Photowallah, Tasveer


The Artful Life of R. Vijay, Serindia Contemporary


Men of Rajasthan, Serindia Contemporary, Chicago


A Three Megapixel Journal, Lulu
European Journal, Lulu


India Poems: The Photographs, Gallerie Publishers, Mumbai


India Poems, Seventy-five Poems by the American Photographer, Rooftop Vistas, USA


Third Eye Photography: and Ways of Seeing, edited by Alka Pande, Speaking Tiger, 2019

Photography in India: From Archives to Contemporary Practice, edited by Aileen Blaney and Chinar Shah, Bloomsbury Academic, 2018

Pages of a Mind: Raja Ravi Varma Life And Expressions, Vaishnavi Ramanathan, Piramal Art Foundation, 2016

Positions, Asia Critique, Vol 24:2, edited by Tani Barlow, Duke University Press, 2016

Feeling Photography, edited by Elspeth H. Brown and Thy Phu, Duke University Press, 2014

Mein Schwules Auge #11, Rinaldo Hopf and Axel Schock, Konkursbuch Berlin, 2014

Positions, Asia Critique, Vol 20:1, edited by Tani Barlow, Duke University Press, 2012

Mein Schwules Auge #7, Rinaldo Hopf and Axel Schock, Konkursbuch Berlin, 2010

Leela, An Erotic Play of Verse and Art, Alka Pande, Harper-Collins India, 2009

Mein Schwules Auge #6, Rinaldo Hopf and Axel Schock, Konkursbuch Berlin, 2009


“Europeans are Going Through an Existential Crisis”, Forbes, November 2019

“Orientalists”, The Business Standard, October 2019

“The Enigmatic Opera”, Mint Lounge, October 2019

“The Book of Waswo”, India Today, October 2019

“Capturing the Ethereal Luminosity of India”, VAMP, April 2019

“La File Indienne, Tous les Jours Curreux”, Des Photos et Des Mots, June 2018

“The Wonderful World of Waswo”, J’aipur Journal, Issue 1, 2018

“Studio at Varda: Memories of a Visit”, Art & Deal, February 2017

“Art in Dark Times: Waswo X. Waswo’s Chaos in the Palace”, X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, December 2016

“Whimsical Look at Everyday India”, Straits Times, May 2015

“Errors of Omission”, The Hindustan Times, May 2014

“Diorama Dialogue”, Time Out, May 2013

“The Eye of the Beholder”, The Caravan, June 2012

“Intimately”, Photo Art Contemporary, December 2012

“Confessions of an Evil Orientalist”, Take on Art, 2012

“Local Discourse and its Discontents”, Art India, 2012

“The Role of Roles in Waswo X. Waswo’s “Confessions of an Evil Orientalist”, ArtSlant, 2011

“Men of Rajasthan”, Photo Art Contemporary, March 2011

“A Tribute to the Truth”, The Nation (Thailand), February 2011

“Hand-coloured and Framed”, Bangkok Post, January 2011

“Posed Modern”, Time Out, 2011

“Re-claiming Territories, Mutating Narratives”, Art & Deal, 2010

“Framing Questions”, Art India, 2010

“The Raja’s New Clothes”, The Times of India, 2010

“Miniature as Style”, Living magazine, 2009

“India’s Growing Middle Class becomes more Invested in Art”, The Washington Post, 2009

“New Avatar for Indian Art”, SPAN magazine, December 2009

“Waswo Captures Images of Indian Rural Life”, (radio interview), Voice of America, 2009

“India Poems: The Photographs, Editor’s Choice”, Atlas, June 2007

“Snapshots of Survival”, The Sunday Herald, April 2007

“I, Me, Myself (self-portraits by photographers)”, Verve Magazine, March 2007

“Tattered Songs of Sorrow and Bliss”, The Telegraph, Calcutta, March 2007

“Lyrical Images”, The Hindu, January 7, 2007

“India in Images”, The Hindustan Times, October 2006

“India Poems”, Better Photography, March 2006

“Ah India”, The Times Journal of Photography, February 2006

This Occidental Tourist Doesn’t Want to be an Outsider”, The Indian Express, February 2006


Asian Art Museum of San Francisco

William Benton Museum of Art, USA

Museum of Art and Photography (MAP), Bangalore

DAG Modern

Sarmaya Foundation, New Delhi

Clarinda Carnegie Art Museum, USA

The Potteries Museum, Stoke-on-Trent, UK

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