By Ankit Patel
A period of reflection or thought.
Surat-born, Baroda-trained and now settled in cosmopolitan Jaipur, Ankit Patel’s sculpture reflects many cross-currents. His sculptural musings makes solid matter move in to a curvaceous movement. Such moments serve as synonyms for life Contemplating. The works evoke emotion with their interplay of figurative & abstract with texture.
He traveled a long journey as a sculptor from Gujarat to Rajasthan with nostalgic intervention to look back and explore the influx of visual culture down from the childhood memory lane to the present day.His native village, Mota Varachha gives him his imagination and thirty four years affiliation with Rajasthan, allowed him to explore the material culture, craft of carving and rich heritage of Rajasthan and confidently he has assimilated the locally found material with the intricacies of traditional sculptures produced by skilled artisan community of Rajasthan.
The two things that strike one in the works being exhibited are the flowing linearity that gives his figures life and motion, coupled with the interplay of vertical, horizontal and circular forms in the tradition of high modernism. In his bronzes one finds a powerful understanding of the close interrelation of the figurative and nonfigurative in art that is characteristic of our contemporary Indian artistic expression and gives it a unique character that has made our contemporary art popular all over the world.
In the process, he has chosen to explore the limits to which human body can stretch itself to reach the ultimate point. As one goes from one sculpture to another, the corollary transforms. The bodily movement, the effort to reach the final point physically, acquires a different dimension and emerges gradually, as a symbol of human spirit. With this conversion every postural movement frozen in a sculpture becomes universal. In the ultimate analysis, it is almost like life itself hangs in balance in these sculptures
The success of an artist lies in giving full scope to both- the suggestion and the interpretation. Ankit Patel gives full play to viewers’ imagination by choosing his subjects from everyday life. Very many times he has shaped a childhood memory, a prank which forms a bond between him and the viewer. This also universalizes the appeal of his sculptures. He has experimented with many mediums and has finally found creative satisfaction in cast metal. In his hands the hard metal becomes pliable and supple.
The artist, like god, infuses life and movement in it…. The Wheel, aptly coined as a force of life, is synonymous with change, movement, growth and even spirituality. The wheel moves through phases of life, taking on different meanings, telling a different story and always conveying an intensity that is synonymous with change, progression and a completeness that stems from constant incompleteness. The image of the wheel stands in the centre of Ankit Patel’s work in this series and in almost all his work done before. His lyrical style can be defined in terms of circular movements, round strokes or flow that moves, connects and ends in circles.
With 34 years of creating motion just lifting moments as they happen and holding them in his ‘cast’, Ankit Patel’s work emerges from the mastery he has over lines and what they say. Thus, the feeling of the bronze suddenly becomes liquid.