Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ravinder Reddy’s iconic heads

Ravinder Reddy’s work ably captures the contradictions and dualities of Indian life. In it, one can easily see the provincial in the universal - Resembling both African folk art and Kalighat paintings. As the artist explains, it’s ‘a kind of an amalgam of Mexican and Egyptian figures, Nigerian bronzes, and rural women in the state of Andhra Pradesh coupled with Warholian ‘pop’ sensibility’.

His ‘everywoman’ has made a mark in Sotheby’s and catalogues, as well as several documentations of Indian contemporary art in the last five years. It forms part of internationally famous collections like the Frank Cohen collection, the Fukuoka Art Museum in Japan and back home, Anupam Poddar’s collection, among other private collections.

Ravinder Reddy has been making sculptures for the last thirty years. He made the first trademark head in the 1990s. It was in the mid-eighties that the artist had seen Nigerian bronzes while at Royal College of Art, London after his graduation from MS university, Baroda. The bronzes reminded him of figures and features from his home states he had grown up seeing.

The features carried a feel and resonance cutting across geographical borders. When he decided to work on something similar, other influences like pop art permeated into the ‘heads’.Soon the artist was showing in London’s Grosvenor Gallery and SoHo galleries. In fact, he was one of the few sculptors to draw a much deserved attention internationally. The woman head was a turnaround point for Indian sculpture in 2007.

One entitled ‘Radha’ went for Rs1.49 crore at Saffronart’s auction in that year. A similar sculpture ‘Lakshmi Devi’ grossed Rs1.36 crore at Christie’s modern and contemporary art auction in New York. Mumbai’s Sakshi Art Gallery presented his heads as part of a group show, entitled ‘Third Dimension’ a few years ago. In fact, his heads has been drawing the interest of collectors, curators and first-time buyers worldwide. It’s the Indianness of his unique works that attract them as noted by French collector-curator Hervé Perdriolle, who states that the heads are iconic owing to their ‘eloquent simplicity’.

No comments:

Post a Comment