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Gallery Beyond - The contemporary art gallery
contemporary art gallery

Gallery Beyond

Gallery Beyond
KARL ANTAO View Gallery 

"My sculptures are mammoth creations charged with emotion, an almost unknown commodity in this day and age. Emotions spew out of the larger than life figures with abandon making them seem a trifle trite and obvious."

Karl Antao believes in art being king-size. Expressiveness is the most salient feature of Antao's sculptures in wood. He takes an unresponsive medium --- like stone --- and transforms it into an instrument of communication.

Antao belongs to Ahmedabad from where he came to Mumbai. He graduated in Applied Art from the Sir J. J. School of Art. While in Mumbai, he experimented with advertising, corporate filmmaking and trophy designing, before discovering that it was sculpting that set his pulses racing.

In spite of working with stalwarts like filmmaker Govind Nihalani and photographer Atul Kasbekar, advertising failed to satisfy his creative urges. "The final imagery is different from what a designer visualises," he says, explaining his dissatisfaction with the medium.

Antao began his love affair with sculpture when on a visit to his father in Ahmedabad. He found life there more congenial than in Mumbai and relocated to the city. "Life in Mumbai is full of pressures and after a certain period, there is stagnation in your personal growth as there is no mental or physical space," says Karl.

Most modern-day sculptors choose clay or metal to work with, finding them more malleable. But Antao prefers to work with wood. Speaking about his choice of a medium, he says, "Working on wood is more challenging as once a segment is shaven off it cannot be put back unlike clay. It takes some time to understand the nuances of a certain medium," he adds.

The level of understanding established between the artist and the medium can be gauged from the fact that Antao manages to extract the subtlest of human sentiments from an apparently hard and grainy surface.

Some of Antao's pieces hint at an invisible presence even though only a single being can be viewed. And bits and pieces at that, just the hands or the feet or some other part of the torso. Rarely the entire figure. Yet, the alter ego hovers in the air for those with vision and imagination to see it. Never loud and obtrusive Karl, Antao's sculptures convey myriad human emotions with ease and a visual impact.

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