'Sculptures will gain in popularity'

Sculptor Arzan Khambatta has had an eventful year, what with showcasing his sculptures at the India Art Festival in Mumbai, taking part in an exhibition of smaller-sized paintings at Tao Art Gallery (Small is Beautiful) and even exhibiting a collection of chess-inspired sculptures (Chessmerized) at Gallery Art and Soul.

Arzan Khambatta at the launch of Chessmerized. Pic/ Santosh Nagwekar 

It’s been over two decades since he took up sculpting as a full-time profession and over the years he has closely observed the metamorphosis in the Indian art circuit. Quiz him on what he believes will be the noteworthy trends for 2013, and he says: “Art trends never really change, year to year. Trends in art, architecture and furniture design percolate from the West and besides there aren’t any set boundaries in art. There is never a new trend with every year.”

The stage is set
In September next year, Khambatta plans to have a solo show of sculptures that will be rooted in humour. “While I am not expecting any drastic changes, it is heartening to see that sculptures are gaining in popularity over the years and I am sure there will be more shows on sculptures over the next year as well,” states Khambatta, adding that there will be more public sculptures as well over the next year. In the past he has worked on some public sculptures including a rhinoceros made of scrap metal at Nariman Point and dolphins at Worli Traffic Stand.

The sculptor adds that as an art form, sculpture can be more challenging than painting, as it requires a lot of space and use of machinery. “It is also easier to get wall space (for paintings) than floor space (for sculptures),” he observes.

The Mumbaikar admits that the city figures as a major inspiration for artists. “Mumbai inspires you with its chaos and diversity.” Khambatta is also excited about the Kala Ghoda festival in February, which will offer a platform for artists and sculptors to be viewed by a large section of the public.

Show stoppers of 2012
India Art Festival: The second India Art Festival at Mumbai featured 40 art galleries and 300 artists. It also included an outdoor sculpture park and sessions on art and poetry.

Kochi-Muziris Biennale: The international contemporary art event saw a collaboration between artists, the government, private art patrons and international cultural organisations.

India art fair: The four-day long India Art Fair 2012 in New Delhi, formerly known as the India Art Summit, featured works by 98 artists and galleries from 20 countries. There were book launches, and art projects.

Art Chennai: Art Chennai in March featured 200 displays and installations at galleries, public spaces and events at hotels spread over a week.  

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