Raj Shahani's bronze dancers in Caesura/Continuum come to life at Jehangir Art Gallery
Mumbai: The opening of Caesura/Continuum - a week-long exhibition of sculptures by New York-based artist Raj Shahani hosted in Jehangir Art Gallery was well received by members of the public and marked something of a homecoming for the Mumbai-born artist, who swapped a successful career in business, to follow his calling as an artist.
The exhibition brought together a selection of 25 bronze sculptures from the series titled Emotion, inspired by lyrical movements of the human body, through sensitive and detailed observations of dancers in motion.
Photography marked the starting point for this series, which has been two years in the making. Moved by the eloquent fluidity and dynamic physicality of dancers, the artist began extensively photographing performances.
This gave him a unique perspective on the power and beauty of the human form. Moving to the medium of sculptures allowed Shahani to articulate his sensitive reading of movement and physicality, in the three dimensional.
The sculptures are near-life size, three-dimensional translations of his photographs of ballet and contemporary dancers, with an acute eye for detail and sensitivity to movement.
Prior to his work as an artist, Raj Shahani spent over three decades as a businessman and marketing maestro with companies in different corners of the world, before settling down in New York a few years ago.
Only two years ago, Raj reignited his childhood love for the arts and has now made quite a name for himself in New York as a prolific sculptor, with a knack for creating exemplary human figurines.
Describing his inaugural exhibition, Shahani says, “It’s really fantastic to be showing my work in my hometown. Consciously or unconsciously, I was holding myself back for so long that now I don’t need any motivation to create art. Photography and sculpting are codependent for me.
I don’t really have a system or process in place, I just let my creativity lead the way, and if I get stuck, I close my eyes and let the subconscious play its part. Often, I forget to eat, drink or rest when I’m in my studio and revel in the fact that I can express myself so clearly now!”
Dates: Until 10 November 2019.
Venue: Jehangir Art Gallery, Exhibition Gallery No 4, 161B, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Kala Ghoda,
Time: Monday - Saturday | 11 am - 7 pm.
Raj Shahani left a successful career in finance in New York City to follow his passion for art. He began developing his artist practice at the Arts Students League in New York, going on to work in studios in the United States and Amsterdam.
He sites artists Phillipe Faraut (USA) and Jeremy Lipking (Netherlands) as his mentors, encouraging him to follow his natural talent for sculpture.
Working out of his studios in the Bronx, Shahani is an active member on the board for the Arts Students League of New York.
He is also on the board of The Most Outstanding American Teen, an initiative that encourages young students to hone their creative talents. The artist lives between New York City and Mumbai.