BANGALORE: Often described as revelation through concealment, Christo Vladimirov Javacheff and Jeanne-Claude’s eccentric works constantly offered new perspectives on art. Originally influenced by Vladimir Tatlin’s edict real materials in real space, the environmental artists’ impressive and controversial wrappings baffled viewers for decades.
Inspired by Christo’s Reichstag project in 1995, 24-year-old Ashray Dravidian’s latest venture swathing Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in a diaphanous white cloth has yet again provided a new platform for contemporary art experiment in India.
In conversation with City Express, Ashray tells us about his experience wrapping the monumental building.
“Christo was a conceptual artist. He always explored new realms of art. Wrapping each architectural marvel in layers of virgin white cloth, creates a unique visual and sensual experience. The artist used ropes to highlight the texture of Reichstag. However, I used cloth to enhance the flat structure of Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. I have always been inspired by his ambition to break all existing norms of art. CKP is a historic building and probably the only art complex in India that caters to epistemology, museology and gallery. Hence, I believe that the cloth serves as a unifying symbol for all art forms existing simultaneously within this structure, “ said Ashray.
One of the leading figures of abstract expressionist movement, Jackson Pollock was influential in severing the connection between the canvas and brush.
Through his work, he proved that art has no boundary. Similarly, showcasing a paradigm shift in artistic and aesthetic appeal, Ashray’s fascination with experimentation has led to him discovering a whole new dimension in art.
“Using architecture as my primary subject, I wished to dissolve the concept of contours, form and shape through this project. Not only is this art work tangible but it is also open to interpretation. It is interesting to see how different people react to the work,” he
further added. Integrating artistic expression with intuition, he drew a parallel between history and philosophy. With art deeply ingrained in his soul, Ashray also felt that it provides hope for mankind.
His love for theatre, film, and art history — all had a part to play in the conceptualisation of this project. Though experimental, Ashray’s work borders on imitation.
“Yes, this project is also a reproduction of an existing artwork on a large scale. However, if any sculptor wishes to explore the anatomy of a human being, he will automatically refer David, a Renaissance sculpture created by Michelangelo. Likewise, if any body wishes to draw Saraswathi, then they would take a look at Raja Ravi Verma’s work. Undoubtedly, there is a continuous cliched reproduction of works by renowned artists but I believe that’s only the first step. Experimentation is the key. When it comes to new media, the question of originality will always arise. The work provokes thought by its very presence, and that is one of the things I desire from contemporary art practice,” he signed off