It is not really comment-worthy that sculptor Prashant Pandey works with urine. Artists have worked with bodily secretions and fluids for long enough that this information shouldn’t generate any reaction.
What is amazing however is what the man has done with it.
Resting on its side, as if unable to take the weight of its own structure, in the vast exhibition space at Gallery Maskara is a large skull fashioned after the deformed skull of a girl child who was not allowed to live. From afar, this skull looks like some bejeweled approximation of the diamond-studded brain cage made famous by Damien Hirst. It is only upon closer scrutiny that one realizes that the artist has sealed urine in small bags (also sweat and tears by his own admission) and each of those bags forms the pixels that add up to the three-dimensional surface area of this memorial to the unwanted (and often rejected) Indian Girl Child.
This is pretty powerful stuff.
Elsewhere in the cool confines of Abhay Maskara’s dramatic exhibition space on 3rd Pasta Lane in Colaba we can see Mr. Pandey’s repurposing of cigarette butts to make a beautiful floral arrangement (again requiring very close examination to identify the origins of the raw material); and other pieces made with blood, discarded bank notes, sugarcane and expired chocolate.
Entitled Shelf-Life, Prashant Pandey’s solo exhibition runs at Gallery Maskara until September 26th.
Do yourself a favour and make the time to go see it.