Tuesday, May 22, 2007

VENICE - Palazzo Grassi

Sequence 1. Painting and Sculptures in the Francois Pinault Collection Exhibiton. Very Hungry God, 2006 by Indian artist, Subodh Gupta sculpture, floats on the Grand Canal at the Entrance to Palazzo Grassi. This is one of Gupta’s most iconic works to date. The enormous skull made of a jumble of stainless steel pots, vessels, and cooking utensils, this momento mori, dazzles not only in its scale and shiny materiality, but also because it so successfully transforms such everyday wares into a monument to the transience of human life. It metaphorically comments on the conflicting cultural forces at play in his homeland: the artist’s penchant for accumulating “things” connotes the rapid acceleration of India’s economy, while the impoverished triviality of his domestic materials reflects the extreme deprivation of India’s lower classes. This work is both a meditation on our own mortality and an elegy for the rapid disappearance of “simple” agrarian lifestyles on the subcontinent.

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