Indian artist Subodh Gupta has stepped down as guest curator of the Serendipity Arts Festival in Goa after allegations of sexual harassment emerged against him on Instagram. The anonymous user Scene and Herd (@herdsceneand), which has in the past posted allegations about other figures in the Indian art world, posted an account last week from an unnamed woman who described Gupta as a “serial sexual harasser” who inappropriately touched and made comments about her and other women he worked with.
Art writer Rosalyn D’mello, who has worked for Nature Morte, Gupta’s New Delhi gallery, came forward in the comments to say that she had previously heard similar stories about Gupta from numerous women. “I want to state that the post pertaining to Subodh is not ‘made up’ or isn’t ‘revenge’ or isn’t ‘attention-seeking.’ They are true,” she wrote.
Gupta has denied the accusations to the Press Trust of India, calling them “entirely false and fabricated,” and adding: “I have never behaved in an inappropriate manner with any individual who worked with me.”
Serendipity, which runs December 15–22, was Gupta’s first curatorial project. He planned to present an 11-artist exhibition titled “My Colour on Your Plate,” featuring work by Anita Dube (the current curator of Kochi Muziris Biennale), artist Paul McCarthy, and journalist Mayank Austen Soofi. A statement from the festival published by Mint magazine said Gupta stepped down “so as not to detract” from the festival.