17 April 2011

Kalyan – Entwined Iconography

Miami based artist NFN Kalyan (above) produces thought provoking work to say the very least.  An Indian-American, his background bleeds through his work and often the collision of cultures, religions and thought combine and merge to create questions which, while we need not answer them directly, linger in the mind and make their own demands.

Kalyan works in a variety of media, metal, glass and wood and the materials often reflect the duality of his art.  Ideas are interwoven and locked in to the materials yet how you interpret or react to his art is very much an individual response.  Without doubt, a response is provoked, ellicited demanded. Kuriositas is very pleased to present a selection of Kalyan’s recent work, with the permission of the artist.  To see more, please visit his website.

Che Guevara’s Watch
Che Guevara, certainly one of the twentieth century’s most icon figures was assassinated but knew with prescience that his death would change him from a man to something more than that.  His last words, famously, were: Shoot, coward, you are only going to kill a man.

Some see Guevara as a political messiah while others as an irritant on the politics of his lifetime.  Che Guevara’s Watch explores the duality of how he is regarded from the perspective of a single moment – that second before his death when he uttered his last words.

Here we see another famous figure of the twentieth century, J. Robert Oppenheimer, scientific director of the Manhattan Project and often called the father of the atomic bomb. Beautifully made from glass on wood the materials reflect the duality of Oppenheimer’s own horror he felt when he beheld his creation with the need for its creation.

Trinity revisits Oppenheimer and has his portrait in a tessellation.  It portrays Christ and the Apostles as Krishna and calls to mind Oppenheimer’s quote from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavad-Gita when he saw the detonation of the first nuclear device.  Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds.

Divinity was created with a Bic ballpoint pen on bristol board. It is a stylised merger of Vishnu and Christ as well as Lakshmi and Mary. Mathematic equations form the border.

As its name suggests, this piece leaves it all up to you.  What would you call it?

Contemporary iconography is explored further in LeBron.  This piece is made is made from a sequence of 22 pieces of glass. A figure not without controversy, LeBron investigates the transparency of the modern day celebrity. As we peer at his face, can we see our own reflection?