Friday, May 15, 2009

Saving the world with Bling Bling: Valay Shende is an Artist to "Watch"

On my never-ending trek through the internet art world, I recently came across the work of Valay Shende.  As an Indian-American myself, I am very excited (and proud) to see Indian based artists showing internationally in this increasingly global world (proving there's more to Indian art and culture than Slumdog Millionaire and that Freida Pinto is not the only beautiful thing coming out of India!).  Shende, a Mumbai-based sculptor brings an ironic and attractive eye to the social problems plaguing India and other developing countries.  His mastery of metal and the molding of found objects create pieces that depict the scrapings from the bottom of society in a glorified, luxurious and gilded extravaganza.  One of my particular favorites is the piece "Management Guru", a life-size rendition of a man and a bike in bronze, steel and wristwatches.  It's impossible to stop staring at life-sized "chai- wala" studded with wristwaches, and if people won't pay attention to poverty and filth, we might as well gild it. So if you happen to be in Zurich in the next month and a half, stop by the Kashya Hildebrand Gallery for Mr. Shende's show Indian Encounters running from April 2 - June 27, 2009.

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