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Anish Kapoor

October 4, 2009

As part of the fringe benefits of corporate life-ism, I get preview and special entry tickets to paid exhibitions at museums and galleries my employers sponsor. One recent such event was an Anish Kapoor exhibition, someone whose name I have heard of as the Turner Prize-winner of 1991 and whose two pieces I had seen last year the ‘Blood on Paper‘ exhibition at Victoria & Albert Museum in May 2008. I liked his sense for the dramatic, expressed in a simple but so very elegant style. What I had not realized before the exhibition was that I have also been a fan of his works where I did not know who the artist was.

The Anish Kapoor exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts is a bold statement; it’s grandeur is expressed in its scale, multiple-room- spanning exhibits, cannons exploding paint on the walls of the Academy and moving masses of blood-red paint. Even for someone like myself, who admits to a certain philistinism when it comes to Modern Art, the exhibition was powerful, in that it was radical, shocking, vibrant and seemed to contain multiple layers of meanings, some more easily deciphered than others.

The most engaging exhibit piece has to be Shooting into the Corner which has captured the imagination of mainstream media unlike other art exhibitions. In a world where the power of the ordinary man is glorified everyday, where crowdsourcing is hailed as the end of the large corporates and where anti-establishmentarianism is more fashionable than ever before, this piece, set in one of the hallowed art venues of London, splattering paint most irreverently on its walls and even on the sculptured ceiling, holds a certain fascination for the ‘common man’, unlike others. Part of being at the exhibition was just looking at the exhibition viewers and how they reacted to the decidedly unconventional art form Kapoor has engaged. There was certainly an element of play as people dashed about in the many rooms, trying to catch the far ends of the train in motion, a blood-red giant mass of wax, paint and vaseline, in the moving piece ‘Svayambh‘, which smeared the venerable archways of the Academy most nonchalantly as it moved along. The gallery with the numerous distorting mirrors obviously kept many of the viewers adequately fascinated. The trumpet-like exhibit was very reminiscent of the famous Marsyas exhibit at the Tate which had brought AK huge media coverage too.

I do believe I’ll be availing of my corporate card again to catch this exhibition once more before it’s over – let me know if you’re interested in joining 🙂

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2009 12:02 pm

    Anish Kapoor’s work is greater than him. And am glad to see that someone that creative doesnt need his own personal life to fuel publicity and sell his brand. You are lucky!

  2. December 9, 2009 12:30 pm

    I am truly bummed that I did not take the time to re-visit the exhibition like I had planned to, but even so, yes, I do feel lucky to have seen the exhibition (and in some manner, even participated in it, I would say :D)

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