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Art is an experience: Manohar Chiluveru

Published Nov 18, 2013, 4:38 pm IST
Updated Mar 18, 2019, 6:57 pm IST
Manohar Chiluveru’s larger-than-life sculptures finally make it to a public platform.

Manohar Chiluveru’s latest show titled Metamatters, on display at the Salar Jung Museum, broadly examines the relationship between the individual and the world around, while also bringing together the artist’s body of work.

Impressions, information and influences from of day-to-day life are the basis for the show. With an intention to work with new media, he started off by photographing things he saw everyday. “I noticed a lot of cows standing outside a restaurant near my house. In the mornings, people bow their heads to the holy animal but by night, the same cows are feeding on garbage. I was drawn by the contrast of the scenario,” he says on the cow series that he’s been working on for eight years, on and off.


The is just one fragment of the show which includes paintings, drawings and some of his older larger-than-life sculptures. From the creases on the trousers of a man, to the muscle contours of the cows, the details are impeccable.

“The story is about the actual process of art; handling the material and colours, engaging with time and action and giving chance to the spontaneity,” he says. This is how Manohar ensures that his experience is transformed on to the viewer.

It is all about the process and the carefully chosen media. The artist doesn’t mould his sculptures with the usual media of clay or fibre glass; instead, he uses cardboard, newspapers and canvas sheets.

He doesn’t mind people getting distracted by newspaper clippings on his sculptures. “These newspapers are fragments of present day. They document the present times and when read in the future, they automatically become history,” he notes.

Some of the most striking images include the body of a slaughtered cow with a human head, and a seesaw-like sculpture with a cow head and human head on the two extremes. “The idea is to portray the balance of human and natural forces,” he explains. 

The “dreamer” has always desired to have larger-than-life installations in public spaces. So, he is grateful to the Salar Jung Museum for hosting his work, especially since there are a lot of public walk-ins — nearly 200 and going up to 300 during the weekend.

But the artist wonders why everyone is out to “understand” art. “There’s nothing to understand. Art is an experience,” he says.