Colaba gets all high and Maity

It was Maity nice, in fact. The fact that public art occupied yet another space, that is. A Colaba traffic island at Pandey Chowk, near Colaba post office now has a bronze sculpture by well-known artist Paresh Maity.

The cover is taken off and the sculpture is unveiled
The cover is taken off and the sculpture is unveiled

The tall sculpture was inaugurated last evening, amidst a clutch of residents cheering and clapping. A joint initiative by CALM, a Colaba Citizens’ Group, MDC which stands for ‘My Dream Colaba’ and an art gallery called ‘Art Musings’, the traffic island is one more instance where citizens are looking to claim a stake in public spaces through art.

Artist Anjolie Ela Menon and Paresh Maity (r). Pics/Satej Shinde
Artist Anjolie Ela Menon and Paresh Maity (r). Pics/Satej Shinde

Maity, in sutiably bohemian attire black with patches of colour, and a silver necklace with a cap, smiled as he said his work was, “about joy, harmony and peace. It took me six months to complete.” The journey to this change this island though, took considerably more.

According to residents, the traffic island was once home to vagrants who would cook and live there. One had to evict them and then, get permission for this piece of work to be installed. Colabakars one could call them, applauded even louder when a speaker stated that, “This is one small step in achieving our dream of making Colaba into an art boulevard.”

One spotted artist Anjolie Ela Menon trademark big bindi on furrowed brow amongst onlookers. She said in response to a question, “There is a difference of scale, when an artist makes a work for a public space. His work should have a certain relevance, appeal to the public, with each one interpreting it in their own way.”

Maity's sculpture seemed a bit abstract with two ‘eyes’ peering out of the bronze sculpture. It may be like Menon said, “open to interpretation.” It may elicit a huh? or a duh or even some wahs, wahs, to each his own.

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