Gupta, who turned his love of food into paintings of shiny pots and pans, will spend nine days preparing traditional Indian fare at the Old Bowery Station, a downtown chef incubator.
“I will cook very common food that you don’t find in a hotel or a restaurant,” said Gupta, 49, in a telephone interview from his home in New Delhi. “You find this kind of food in your mother’s home.”
The artist’s paintings have sold at auction for as much as $1.4 million. His giant skull made from stackable stainless-steel containers has been exhibited by billionaire Francois Pinault’s Palazzo Grassi in Venice.
Titled “Celebration,” Gupta’s project has a budget of $90,000 and is one of 13 Performa commissions ranging from a play staged in a bath house to a concert featuring singers on bikes.
“Leonardo da Vinci did performance art and so did Caravaggio,” said RoseLee Goldberg, Performa’s founder. “Most people don’t recognize this history.”
Goldberg raised $2.5 million for this fifth edition of Performa, which includes more than 100 artists and 48 venues, ranging from the Brooklyn Academy of Music to a tiny East Village theater housed in a school for girls from low-income families.
Artist Rashid Johnson, known for his conceptual painting and sculpture, will direct LeRoi Jones’s play “Dutchman” at the Russian & Turkish Baths.
Norwegian Tori Wranes, who works with voice and sculpture, is presenting an event in which a choir of as many 50 people performs while riding bikes.
Gupta has shipped hundreds of shiny pots and pans from New Delhi to New York to build a chandelier-like installation at the Old Bowery Station. In the past two years he’s been painting food he’s eaten -- including the leftovers.
“It’s like writing a diary,” he said. “You are what you eat.”