Vishnu H Prasad : An Accidental Civil Servant

Delhi Diaries: In the name of Art: Sprouts

As I passed the fly-over near AIIMS in New Delhi, my eyes rested on steel stalks topped by globes that looked like heads. At first look, they seemed very out of place. Was it some man’s idea of some stick figures? Or was it some alien invasion artistically represented? I showed these sculptures to Lekshmy and she immediately remarked. “They look very ugly”. Apparently, these installations are art works commissioned by Jindal stainless, and named “Sprouts”

The artist behind these works is Vibhor Sogani, who explains his artwork as representing the rising power of India in the world. He apparently conceived this idea during the commonwealth games when India was trying to demonstrate its rising economic status before the world. The games ended up being a story of corruption and abuse of power and sprouts drew flak from most quarters.

If you would like to know more about the sculpture from the sculptor himself, you can find it here. If the aim of artwork is to engage, as the author says in the interview, I definitely did have my curiosity piqued after seeing these statues. However, for me art should not just represent an abstract idea, but should be able to fit in with the place where it is installed. How would it have been had Michelangelo painted erotica on the walls of the Sistine chapel, at a time when the Church was trying to maintain and cement its role as a beacon of righteousness and ethics? Just like that, Sprouts, to me, felt so out of place. Once the curiosity dies down, it is just a lot of steel pins magnified and built to scale fixed upright in the vast green lawn.

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