January 10, 2022 10:37:25 pm
“I was expressing myself and will continue to express myself,” says Pune-based artist Akshay Mali, after he received threatening phone calls and his debut exhibition, It’s Me, was recently stopped by the venue, Balgandharv Rang Mandir. Mali says he is now looking for new galleries, aligned with his sensitivities, to exhibit his works.
The three-day exhibition began on January 7 but was abruptly stopped on January 8. It comprised works showcasing the nude human body in nature and genderless fashion among other things. He used his faeces in one of the works and the menstrual blood of his friends in another. “I am trying to create art with media that have not been used before. I am trying to push the bar in art,” says Mali.
According to PTI, Sunil Mate, the in-charge of the Balgandharv Rang Mandir, has said that Mali should have informed the management about the theme of the exhibition in advance. “We do not allow any such exhibitions that can hurt someone’s sentiments. Such nudity does not look appropriate (at the art gallery),” he said. Mate said when the authorities at the venue came to know about the photos and the display theme, the artist was told to remove the pictures.
Mali says his idea is to document his life and that the pictures are carefree and raw. “I have taken some photographs of myself in extreme condition, such as the icy waters of Himachal in extreme weather. I wanted to push the envelope farther than anybody has in the past,” says Mali.
(With PTI inputs)
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