At Lalit Kala Akademi, in Delhi, resting among the visually-stimulating sculptures by Delhi-based artist Arun Pandit, is Mask Seller, a bronze sculpture shaped like a man, who carries a cloud of masks perched on a stick resting on his shoulder. His silhouette bears a stark resemblance to that of a balloon seller. Through it, he makes an important comment on society, how everyone we come across in our day-to-day dealings wears different masks. The artist, whose Garuda sculpture now rests at the Tirupati airport that was inaugurated by Narendra Modi six months ago, has created the 21 sculptures and paintings in his latest exhibition “Power and Pathos” from the vast pool of personal experiences.
Another bronze marvel by Pandit, titled Trials, shows an unworried child, sitting between his parents who rest their hands on his head. Their heads are divided by a large gap from their bodies, which also separates them from the toddler. Pandit, 42, who has seen adults leave behind aged parents in his hometown Patna for better prospects, says, “I remember my parents through this piece because they are not there any more and I communicate with them often by looking up at the sky. I have also looked at how adults, who have moved out of their parents’ homes to earn a better living, communicate with their aged parents and the gap that ensues in their communication due to their absence.”
Uma Nair, curator of the exhibition, says, “The beauty of the show lies in the honesty of the artist, who hasn’t created beautiful works but has instead made works which are dark and hint at struggle. His sculptures are stirring and are like characters handpicked from Shakespeare.”
The gifted sculptor, who has been working in bronze for many years at the Lalit Kala Akademi studio in Garhi, has also created Head – Electronic Age, where an enlarged bronze head bears a plain surface on one half and has multiple eyes, mouth and nose on the other half. Nair says, “We are so obsessed with technology, that everything has become a part of the internet and Error 404.”