Crowd Magnets

Feb 03 2013, 02:58 IST
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SummaryMorbid, political or plain pretty? Artwork at the India Art Fair had the crowds talk and think.

Morbid impressions

Walk down the ‘A’ aisle and it’s almost guaranteed you will not miss it. Propped up on a podium at Mumbai’s Gallery Maskara (A2) is a work that evokes multiple emotions. Faridabad-based Shine Shivan’s Glimpse of Thirst has many exercising their facial muscles. It’s a sculpture, comprising a taxidermy work, of a creature wearing a jacket, with the lower half made of multiple chicken heads. It is studded with dentures and pearls.

“It deals with a hetero-normative way of looking at masculinity. Shivan subverts the gender roles we see in society,” says Abhay Maskara, curatorial director.

The power of pink

SCREAM gallery from London is perennially crowded. There are photographs of personalities such as Gandhi, Frida Kahlo, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali against the background of Coca Cola or Pepsi posters, created by Thai pop artist Pakpoom Silaphan. The highlight, however, of booth A5 is Beijing-based contemporary artist Ye Hongxing. Touted as one of the most exciting rising stars of the Chinese contemporary art scene, this is her first display in India.The work at the booth have already been sold out.

Kitchen memories

There’s a comforting corner at C13’s Shrine Empire Gallery. Apart from paintings, there is a bright spot with an installation by Anoli Perera called Memory Keeper: The Blue Cupboard. It’s a wooden cupboard with a central space in lace that veils a video projection of a pair of hands washing ceramic cups. The lower half of the cupboard has tea cups flowing out. Perera’s note reads, “I live amidst the comfort of memories, ordinary paraphernalia in which ordinary meals have been cooked and served by many generations.”

A Room of One’s Own

Jitish Kallat’s continued engagement with a 1939 letter written by Gandhi to Hitler comes to the fair through his solo project Covering Letter (P10). A two-way dark room, with a projected image dividing the room into two, had curious onlookers fascinated. Supported by Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai, the project looks at the irony of the letter, from “the great advocate of peace” to one of the most “violent” leaders.

And More

n Nandita Kumar has created a miniature city inside a glass bottle. Complete with roads, buildings and windmills, this projects the cramped surroundings within a city. At: Lakeeren Art Gallery, A 4

n Nantu Behari Das has chubby children at play. Seemingly a take-off from fur toys, these are made of aluminum nails.

At Gallery Sanskriti, S 15


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