Chandrika Marla

Cut Off Diptych

Chandrika Marla
Cut Off
Acrylic and block-printed fabric on canvas
Diptych, 24 x 30” and 24 x 18”

Cut Off is part of the Talk series, a group of paintings that explore relationships, in which fabric bodices represent people. The body is redundant, the clothes are a form on their own, and they can talk and think.

Chandrika was a fashion designer for many years, and she uses the torso as her protagonist. We see one form breaking away from the others to become a solitary figure, and see that a distance has been created. There is an ocean of memories separating them, as the lone figure crosses over to another life.

As a child in New Delhi, Chandrika was surrounded by old buildings and monuments from centuries ago. You see them in the backgrounds she creates, the scribbled-upon walls of her ancient playgrounds.


Chandrika Marla was born in New Delhi in 1968. She graduated in Fashion Design from the National Institute of Fashion Technology in 1991. She moved to the United States in 1998, and worked as a designer for several years before she began her career in art. At a performance in Chicago in 2011, her paintings were interpreted by Rama Vaidyanathan – a leading exponent of Bharatanatyam dance. She currently lives in Chicago.

Chandrika paints with acrylic and mixed media. Her paintings are inspired by women, their relationships with others, and their own selves. You can see more of her work at


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