Modern Art sometimes doesn't do it for me or perhaps I just dont get it and so when an exhibition comes up and it is modern art I hum and I ho but eventually go ..prepared to take it all with a pinch of salt, wondering whether a friend's analysis of Anish Kapoor's work as Big Boys Toys hits the nail on the head.
The first upset of the day was cheering - the National Gallery of Modern Art in Delhi was not only hosting this unique exhibition but for once there was available material to take away with you in the form of a booklet and some postcards.
The exhibition has been installed with great care and attention to detail. I cannot begin to think of issues like transport, installation and insurance for something so unique and in some cases fragile. Another reason to be cheerful. They did it. I am sure he is an exacting taskmaster.
And then the cherry on the cake- a one to one with Anish ( well three if you count Alan Yentob presenting ) in the form of a really informative filmet with Anish being terribly matter of fact about his art and the reasons why he does it. A must see to begin to understand just how different this man is.
Indian / Jewish Iraqi in origin brought up in a liberal and progressive household. Privileged life at the Eton of India Dera Dhun.Leaves and spends a couple of years in Israel before going to art college in the UK- A turning point for him.He took himself seriously and he worked very hard at his art realising soon that his was a little different. Up until he won the Turner prize in 1990 and then represented the UK at the Venice Biennale in 1991 he was little known but these two events changed his life and as he put it quite plainly:
"Up until I won the Turner Prize I was telling people what I was doing. After that people were telling me what I was doing."
There is something quite amusing about that analysis and perhaps indicative of a man who doesn't take himself too seriously though he takes his art very seriously.
He sees the final product in his mind and others are there to put it together for him. He dares to go where he doesn't know and he dares the viewer to go along too.The end product can be staggering or quietly subtle.
So what is his art about ? He says he doesn't have any messages or hidden meanings. It is what you make of it and what it means to you and in so far as anyone can see it is not art that leaves you cold or indifferent or wondering what the hell it is all about.
You are there, engaged and transfixed, disorientated and dizzy but definitely affected by it. Not everyone has the ability to touch you in this way with great big inanimate objects and I felt I wanted to stay longer, circle around this black hole, see my reflection in the vast distorting mirrors, wonder in awe at how he achieved a visual effect which seems to change perspective depending on where you are standing.
If you have ho hummed like me - get up and go you will be engaged and whether you hate it or love it it will touch you where perhaps you least expect.On until the 27th of February.