With varied surroundings turning into canvases and art expanding beyond galleries, Youth Inc tells you about a career as an installation artist
Gazillion descriptions as to what installation art is are embedded on the artistic front. Installation art is created, constructed or installed on a site and this art converses in a dialogue with the surrounding features and materials. Installations envelop the viewer in the space of the work, whereas sculptures are viewed from the outside as a self-contained arrangement. Kala Ghoda, the art district of Mumbai, featured several earlier this year, establishing that this is now a sizzling career. Arzan Khambatta, whose profession as an architect was replaced by sculpting, continues to woo the world with his installations and sculptures. Among his bestselling artwork exhibited at premium art galleries, he considers Throne, featuring Mr Bachchan on the KBC hot seat, a personal favourite. He defines an installation as 3D art which is quick, uses the most basic materials and even temporary, to an extent. He feels sculptures have been mixed up with installations now.
After clearing Class 12, one can opt to study art. A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)/Bachelor of Visual Arts (BVA) can be pursued (both the terms mean the same). One can then broaden their horizons by studying for a master’s degree – MFA/MVA, or gain work experience with an professional installation artist.
Students can chose a specialisation in the following creative expressions: sculpture, painting, applied art or art history. Installation works fall under the sculpture stream. Artistic modelling and casting of metal/clay/stones is taught. 3D artworks are created that are often site-specific. However, all top artists haven’t followed this structure. Many, pursuing different careers yet being extremely artistic, have got a break and worked under renowned artists and acquired further learning. As said, art has several expressions and structures. Arzan Khambatta says, “For me, it never started off as a career. It started just as a hobby, and then slowly down the line it became an obsession and I became so passionate about it that I was sure I only wanted to follow that.”
Job Focus and Roles
Installation artists are hired by several companies, museums, galleries, toy industries and even the film industry to beautify atmospheres, mould figures and provide artistic advice for film direction and sets. One could work independently too, developing their collections like many successful installation artists.
Remuneration from Scraptures
Do I need to tell you about the installations and sculptures priced at lakhs? The artist’s art and space of display determine his earnings. Arzan’s early works were out of scrap which he coined ‘Scraptures’. When asked if he is worried about his work gaining recognition, he confidently replies, “I only knew what I wanted to do, the rest followed.” His works like The Moghul and RAVANA are mind-boggling. Artist Vivan Sundaram has used refuse from garbage in his installations, whereas installation artist Subodh Kerkar, placed 600 Tibetan prayer flags coming down from a hill creating a spiral on a beach. All these are pristinely pricey!
Scope and Prospects in India
Marcel Duchamp’s urinal, Fountain, is one of the first installations that earned big bucks. This art form has evolved surpassing found or created objects, thus enlarging its scope and recognition factor. Arzan says, “I am sure sculptures are more prominent abroad than in India, but it’s sufficient here as well. Every possible space has enough open space for an installation or sculpture; be it traffic islands, parks, museums, corporate lobbies, hotels, residential buildings etc.” Upcoming sound installations give the public the possibility to stay longer due to possible curiosity over the development of sound. These factors attract employers and buyers.
Typical Work Saga
Arzan Khambatta reaches his studio at 9:00 am. He works till 1:00 pm and then again from 2:30 to 5:00 pm. He says, “this is an absolute normal day when there are no exhibitions, no deadlines etc. During show times, installation deadlines, or during presentation times, everything goes haywire and then there’s no day or night.” Art is presented best when arty juices are stirred with hard work.
- JJ COLLEGE, MUMBAI
- COLLEGE OF ART, DELHI
- BANARAS HINDU UNIVERSITY
- MS UNIVERSITY OF BARODA
- JAWAHARLAL NEHRU ARCHITECTURE AND FINE ARTS UNIVERSITY, H’BAD
- SLADE SCHOOL OF FINE ART, LONDON
- PRATT INSTITUTE, NEW YORK
- RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN, USA