Larger-than-life size sculptures, Ahmedabad-based Karl Antao shows works created over the last three years, in Couple of Differences. Antao explains that unlike the title may suggest, the theme of the show is about the differences a person faces with him/herself and not with another person. “The so called “educated” mind goes through a lot of compromising due to ideas of the society,” he explains.
One of the works is a tribute to the 26/11 terror attacks on Mumbai. Antao reads different tales of the story of Vishnu saving the earth. He uses the story as a metaphor to connect it to the recent incident.Most of the sculptures are a satire on the interplay of the aspect of educated minds and manipulated circumstances that work towards creating a convenient environment. “An educated mind is supposed to introspect and most often we don’t care until the flow of things is right for us. Do we?” he questions.
Textures, colours, emotions, merging of two forms to create a new form, are important characteristics in Antao’s work. “It takes a lot of time to conceptualise a work and finish it. Sometimes I start a work and leave it undone and then get back to it after may be months. A lot changes over time,” he explains.
Antao is also known for sculpting by self, unlike having a set of artisans who execute his ideas. “I don’t understand how an artist can let someone else create his/her work. There are many things that one discovers even while making the work and new possibilities arise,” he says.
Antao studied applied arts at the J J Institute in Mumbai and began a career as a graphic designer and visualiser. Soon he realised sculpting was his calling. He has since had several exhibitions, won several awards – some of them being Indian Habitat Centre Award for Best Solo Show - 2005 and Bendre - Husain Award India-1995