United Nations Women's Entrepreneurship Distinguished Fellow 2018
Max Mark-Cranbrook Global Peacemaker Award 2019
Disruptive Innovation Award 2019
Clubhouse Creator First 2021
"Riveting, shocking and touching, Indrani's direction is brilliant and provocative." - Scott Goodson, Forbes
"Wielding her visionary work like a weapon, Indrani is using her art and resources for social justice and change." - Zee Chang, Soma
"Trailblazer and visionary: high-concept and hyper-realism commingle in the work of Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri." - Kimberly Jones, The Austin Chronicle
"Among the first female artists of color in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery's permanent collection... mix of metaphysical & sociological meaning is perfectly natural for master photographer Indrani." - Mary Thompson Frenck, Embrace
(Short bio) Tribeca Film Festival award-winning director, photographer, and social justice advocate, Indrani creates transformative, multi-platform works of art, innovation and social impact. Recognized by the United Nations as a Women's Entrepreneurship Distinguished Fellow, and a Max Mark-Cranbrook Global Peacemaker, her extensive global expertise leverages the power of art, film, media, anthropology, celebrity, music, fashion, branding, and education, to empower diversity, equality, and environmental sustainability. The recipient of over 30 awards, featured from HBO, CNN, BBC, and New York Times to Vogue and Vanity Fair, she has created the image of over 300 brands, from Pepsi and Nike to L'Oreal. Discovered and mentored by David Bowie and Iman, she helped launch the solo careers of artists such as Beyonce and Lady Gaga, creating their album art and videos. Exhibited in museums worldwide and in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian. Co-Host of the Global People’s Summit at the United Nations, Host of New York Live Arts' Humanities Symposium, Co-Founder and Director of Shakti Empowerment Education for women and children in India. Prolific public speaker at prestigious conferences and universities, she is a Princeton University Visiting Lecturer on "Mobilizing Millions with Art and Film for Human Rights and Social Justice" and "Mythography, Digital Storytelling, and Counter-Colonizing the Heteropatriarchal Gaze."
“Across Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri’s body of work, from film and photography to philanthropy and social activism, she uses art as a means of processing and reflecting upon questions of self and society, justice and hope, history and myth... [She] invites viewers to feel tugged and sometimes even lashed at by the thing that would have been invisible to most other eyes."
- Tracy K. Smith, US Poet Laureate, at the Princeton University Arts & Humanities Symposium 2018
(Full bio) Indian-Canadian-British-Jamaican multidisciplinary artist, known mononymously as Indrani, is a “leading director and voice for female empowerment” (Tribeca Film Festival), a photographer, and social justice advocate.
Known for her “iconic imagery and visionary storytelling” (Huffington Post), exploring avant-garde intertextual surrealism, the Lincoln Center presented her major exhibition "ICONS" describing her work as "Dynamic...at the crossroads of pop culture and critical acclaim." Indrani is also co-founder of Shakti Empowerment Education (SEEschool.org), and a lecturer at Princeton University on "Moving Millions to Action: Art and Film for Human Rights and Social Justice."
"Indrani's vast experience and unique sensibility makes her one of the most sought- after professional visual artists in the world... Indrani moves through the world with diplomacy and grace and it's no surprise that celebrities the world over have trusted her with their images. She's a fine role model... balancing the glamour and gloss of her professional life with philanthropy."
- Paul Sunday, New York Film Academy
Empowering women and LGBTQ rights, anti-racism, and environmental sustainability, she is an educator and speaker at Harvard University on "Pride and Progress" at the LGBTQ Film Symposium. Indrani is Co-Host of the Global People’s Summit during the General Assembly at the United Nations, democratizing access to conversations and information that shape the world; UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Distinguished Fellow; Host of New York Live Arts - AI Live Ideas Gala; co-Founder and Executive Director of the Shakti Empowerment Education Foundation.
"At the forefront of contemporary photography" - NOWNESS
While a student of Anthropology at Princeton University, Indrani was discovered and mentored by Iman and David Bowie, who commissioned her first book cover for I am Iman, and her first album art for Heathen, on Bowie's loss of faith in grand narratives after 9/11. Bowie later launched her directorial debut with the music video for his Valentine’s Day, exploring the mind of a high school mass shooter, which was featured in the HBO Movie Bowie: the Last 5 Years.
Indrani has empowered some of the world’s most legendary artists, including helping launch the solo careers of Beyonce and Lady Gaga, creating their debut album art for Dangerously in Love and The Fame (Collector's Edition) respectively. She put celebrities in coffins, including Kim Kardashian, Usher, Serena Williams and Elijah Woods for Digital Death, raising awareness and millions of dollars against AIDS in Africa and India for Keep A Child Alive, and many other projects for social good.
Featured in The New York Times, LA Times, Rolling Stone, Vogue, Vanity Fair and VICE, and published in 23 books, Indrani's work is exhibited in museums including the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian Institute, The Center Pompidou Paris, The Rubin Museum of Art NY, The Victoria & Albert Museum London, The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, The Museum at the Fashion Institute and The Australian Center for the Moving Image.
Her videos have over 70 million views online, and she has created images and commercials for over 300 international brands including Pepsi, Nike, Lancome, and L’Oreal. Regularly interviewed for CNN, HBO, E! News and Showbiz Tonight, she is invited to speak at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Centre Pompidou, Princeton, New York University and Harvard University.
EARLY LIFE: Born in Kolkata and raised volunteering with Mother Teresa since a small child, Indrani experienced the power of change that the tiniest of people can bring. Eager to learn from the top artists of the world, she became an international teen model-actor. At 18 she returned for a 6-month solo pilgrimage across India, and co-founded Shakti Empowerment Education, SEEschool.org providing education, vocational training and micro-financing for 300 socio-economically disadvantaged women and children annually in West Bengal. She met classical harpist Markus Klinko and they began their professional photography careers together as the photography duo known as Markus + Indrani.
Indrani received a scholarship to Princeton University, where she reinstated Sanskrit and spearheaded a student movement to create a South Asian Studies Program, founded the Eastern Philosophical Discussion Group, and graduated with a Magna Cum Laude BA in Anthropology, while advancing her photography and digital art career.
SOCIAL ADVOCACY: Working with over 25 NGOs, "Indrani is internationally recognized for her extensive work on social causes... Empowering young girls to become powerful agents of change" (Huffington Post).
"Wildly creative... Indrani changes the fate of forgotten girls... She is fighting to give girls a better future." -Abigail Pesta, The Daily Beast
EDUCATOR AND SPEAKER: United Nations, Harvard University, Princeton University, University of Pennsylvania, New York University, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Center Georges Pompidou. SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
BRAVO (NBC) DOCU-SERIES DOUBLE EXPOSURE: Indrani was the subject of a 6-part docu-series on US primetime Bravo/ NBC TV. Featuring her creative process, the humor and challenges of working with stars such as Lady Gaga, Kim Kardashian, and Lindsay Lohan, along with designer / creative producer GK Reid and her photographic partner at the time, Markus Klinko. Syndicated to 200 countries.
PUBLICATIONS: The New York Times, Huffington Post, LA Times, London Sunday Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Harper’s Bazaar, V, Vanity Fair and VICE.
FEATURED ON: CNN, HBO, Access Hollywood, Extra! Inside Edition, E! News, America’s Next Top Model, Larry King Live, VH1’s Short List, Fashion Television, The “It” Factor, CBS, USA Today, and Showbiz Tonight.
CLIENTS: Pepsi, Nike, Barney’s New York, LVMH, Lancome, Elizabeth Arden, MAC, L’Oreal Paris, Shiseido, Pantene, Head & Shoulders Herbal Essences, Remy Martin, Sky Blue, Gucci, Hugo Boss, Wolford, Girard Perregaux, Anna Sui, Baume et Mercier, DeBeers, Epson, Broncolor, Mattel, Hello Kitty, Jaguar CLIENT LIST
EXHIBITIONS: National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian, The Victor & Albert Museum UK, The Brooklyn Museum, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, The Lincoln Center, Museum of the Fashion Institute, Rubin Museum of Art, The Australian Center for the Moving Image.