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Cop Shiva migrated from his village in Karnataka’s rural district to join the Indian Police Service in 2001. Moving to Bangalore city was challenging but it also allowed him to pursue a career in art and photography. In 2007, he began working as the coordinator of 1.Shantiroad contemporary art gallery. Since then, he has received grants from Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and the Swedish Art Council, and has been the recipient of the Sovereign Asian Art Public Award 2023. His work has been exhibited in galleries in India and Internationally. He is represented by Gallery Sumukha and Art Heritage Gallery.

Cop Shiva’s photography focuses on documenting the complexity of rural and urban India. He practices portraiture and is fascinated with the idea of masquerade and the roles people play in the public and private space. His works include intimate portraits of urban migrants, people of alternative sexuality, street performers and others living in the hinterland of urban and rural conflict. His attempts to capture the diversity of humans who live on the edge and represent the spirit of our times

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