Posted by: John Elliott | October 2, 2012

Ratan Tata and Mahatma Gandhi reflected in anamorphic cylinders

I have also written about this art fair on The Economist’s  Prospero arts blog at  

Ratan Tata, head of one of India’s largest groups (below), and Mahatma Gandhi, the independence leader whose birth anniversary is today, were two of the leading figures reflected in anamorphic mirror cylinders by Keralan artist Vincent Pallissery at Delhi’s current United Art Fair.

Pallissery was one of some 520 artists showing 2,700 works at the show that was path-breaking because there were no galleries involved. It ran for an opening evening and three full days in central Delhi’s Pragati Maidan show grounds and closed on Sunday.

For sale at about Rs2.5 lakhs, Vincent Pallissery anamorphic works involve flat bases painted with unrecognisable designs that become recognisable images when they are reflected in cylindrical mirrors. Anamorphosis (or anamorphis) was first tried as an art form during the Renaissance.

It was famously used in Hans Holbein’s 15th century painting The Ambassadors and has also be used to transmit espionage and other confidential caricatures and erotic scenes without the carrier knowing what the flat painting depicts.

.Other works at the show, in addition to the one shown on the Prospero blog, included bright red chillies and other sculptures made from old truck and bicycle tyres by Subodh Kerkar from Goa.

There was a fibreglass pickup truck called “loot” by Manish Sharma from Rajasthan (below) that was auctioned for Rs13.5 lakhs (£15,900).

I thought the paintings (above) were very like Paritosh Sen and F.N.Souza but the artist, Vikash Kalra, insisted were his own inspired creations.

There was a recurring theme of road transport. Balbir Krishan, whose figurative paintings on the theme of homosexuality were attacked when they were shown at a public Delhi gallery last January, was also there.

“It’s been a very good opportunity for young artists like me to be with so many other artists from different regions in India, and to see their works and be able to talk,” said Rimsy Chopra, a 24-year old graduate of the Delhi College of Art.


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