Thursday, October 25, 2012

Analyzing Alwar Balasubramaniam’s oeuvre

Considered one of the most innovative and talented contemporary Indian artists, Alwar Balasubramaniam’s diverse body of work looks to draw attention to the overlooked, bring to fore the invisible, and express the inexpressible. Here, we try to analyze and fathom his oeuvre:
  • A skilled sculptor, painter and printmaker, all rolled in one - this multi-faceted practitioner often crosses the fine boundary between art, perception and real life through his work. He is known to experiment with a wide range of materials (fiberglass, gold, wax etc) to construct pieces that reveal his deep artistic concerns and his intense search process.
  • Often very tactile, at times very physical, his work symbolizes an intense exploration of questions like what really defines the self and what confines us? The idea is to visualize how light and shadow can shape our view of the world around.
  • The Bangalore-based artist in his constant quest for the unconventional has been casting works using his own body and placing himself literally between the art and the viewer, negotiating the skin as an edge where one’s own individual physical self ends and everything else begins.
  • Employing the cast from his hands, he materializes a form that exists only when the hands are clasped and ceases to exist when they are opened. However, by casting that space he has allowed us to view something which would not be visible directly. This casting method also enables the interior (between the hands) to become the exterior. Girish Sahaney, head of The Skoda prize selection advisory committee, had stated of his work, “He has not got his due, since he is not one of those more prolific and visible artists. His work is not that easy to appreciate.”
  • The New York Times critic Holland Cotter a few years ago had mentioned of him as ‘a young, savvy and in the middle of a spurt of growth. ‘It could take him anywhere, but there’s already a lot here,” he added. And the prophecy has been proven to be true…

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