Spectrum – Solo Exhibition

by Arzan Khambatta

This collection has been curated by his acute perceptiveness of the wonder of language; a joyful explosion of words chiselled into highly complex and abstract forms.  But it’s unifying theme seems to be man, his place in the universe and his endeavours. 

‘Making a Name for Yourself’ and ‘Moving Ahead’ explore aspects of human ambition, personal identity and location, which are things important not just to artists but an essential aspect in the development of the psyche, as necessary as breathing. This drive defines us in so many ways and here it is examined with both humour and compassion. The pleasure he takes in manipulating language is manifest in his unsurpassed felicity in manipulating metal and wood. 

Words are the driving force behind some of his other creations: an effusion of hope and joy translates to ‘ A Spring in His Step’ the idea of true liberation as ‘Breaking Free ‘ of one’s bonds and the subtlety of the negative spaces in ‘Reading Between The Lines’ playfully enlarge upon things we do and feel and take for granted. 

With his tongue firmly in his cheek, with ‘Techno Notice’ he gently pokes fun at our modern insanity; our desperate need to be ‘plugged in’ all the time. Here the figure is, to quote Arzan, ” completely encapsulated”, enslaved by the machinery she thinks she controls and “completely unaware of the real world around her.” The loops and coils of the cabling around her can be interpreted as her chains of bondage.a

The architectonics of Arzan’s work reveals the flip side of his effervescent personality. Here we see a careful craftsmanship, a precision of perspective, and a triumph of technique- which remind you not to be taken in by the word games and the humour. Here the artist is all serious business and his devotion to his craft is seen in the seamless flow from wood to metal and back again. 

Each piece seems to be an organic entity, magically conjured without any visible sign of human intervention. It all seems to have evolved from a preternatural source -Hephaestus’s forge.

Structurally, Arzan explores a new paradigm. The human figures in this collection do not play centre stage. They are smaller, subordinating themselves to the larger concept, acknowledging – to paraphrase the artist- our actual place in the universe, as existing not for our own glory but as working within our own karma as part of something greater. 

This thought process is evident in works like ” moving ahead ” which is Arzan’s tribute to the human capacity “to think, comprehend, configure and work together.” The monumental scale of the head, vis a vis the figures who labour around it is a nod to the monuments of ancient Egypt; hinting at our unfathomable drive and capacity to create things that outlast us by millennia. Arzan also stays true to form in his use of unusual materials as seen in his tribute to Dali, who is a great favourite of his, as well as ‘think tank’, which has both literal and figurative connotations. 

His use of the pick axes in ‘Pick on Someone Your Own Size’ is both subtle and symbolic. It’s his validation of the little guy, the underdog, who stares down the barrel of the gun and doesn’t flinch, like David facing up to Goliath. His use of his chosen material has evolved (as compared to his earlier use of the same object in ‘The Hive’) into a simplicity that is reminiscent of Ikebana. It is minimalistic in approach and yet conveys a great deal of meaning. It is the epitome of simplicity and substance.

Being ‘O’pun minded ‘ is second nature to Arzan Khambatta. And this collection is an invocation to the gods that bless us with understanding and humour as we make our way on this journey that is life. And he’s unequivocal in stressing that humour is a serious business; to his mind it plays an important role in most aspects of life- social or creative. Arzan sees it as a way to connect to others, to forge bonds as real as those that bind the elements of his sculpture.

In its entirely, and despite the enormity of its scale, the collection isn’t designed to intimidate or overawe. He confesses that he prefers to keep things ‘ simple’, so that the viewer shares in the creator’s consciousness and isn’t kept at a respectful distance. 

The range of the concept as well as presentation, runs the gamut from the sublime to the quirky and that is what lends it a universal appeal and makes his art accessible to every man.

About the Show – Spectrum

Curated with acute perceptiveness of language’s wonder, “Spectrum” is a joyful explosion of words chiseled into highly complex and abstract forms. Despite its varied themes, the unifying thread is man, his place in the universe, and his endeavors.

Structurally, Arzan subverts norms, prioritizing concept over human figures. His craftsmanship reflects dedication, seamlessly transitioning between wood and metal. Each piece appears organic, evoking a sense of evolution from a supernatural source.

With “Spectrum,” Arzan invites viewers to connect through understanding and humor, emphasizing its importance in life. Despite its scale, the collection remains accessible, inviting viewers to share in the creator’s consciousness and appreciate the range of concepts presented.