Trust Prashant Hirlekar to create artwork from the extremely ordinary, even the boring.
The artist, whose previous exhibit was put together using shaving brushes, has taken a fancy to the clothes iron this time. Strange muse Istri, a collection of 21 paintings, has been created by burning holes on dual-layered canvases. Ask him where the idea came from and he says, “There’s a woman near my house who I watch ironing clothes every day.
The way she moves the iron and flattens clothes is like painting without colour.” He adds, “When I realised that the movement is the same, I had to use this concept for a new collection.”
Hirlekar feels that depicting instances from real life in an interesting manner is the most difficult part of his job. “Ironing is a very mundane activity, but it is something we can’t do without. All the same, the iron isn’t an art object, so converting it into art is a great challenge,” he explains.
Apart from its usefulness, the shape of his ‘muse’ also intrigues Hirlekar. “As an appliance, the iron has very interesting aerodynamics,” he observes, adding, “The shape is arch-like, and I feel it has spirituality to it, the way it emits warmth.”
The exhibition has been almost a year in the making, but Hirlekar justifies the amount of time he has taken to put together these pieces, saying, “Ideating and conceptualising took a lot of time. You have to constantly think out of the box to come up with works that follow the same theme, but still manage to retain their individuality.”
He further proclaims, “You can go on painting in one particular style, but that is not the work of a genius. Every canvas must be different from the other, but still be linked.”
Istri is on display at Suchitrra Art Gallery, Bandra till February 11.