In a recent couple of month I grew to like the artist Anish Kapoor. With his work he creates a relationship between the natural environment and human beings. His works question the idea of the origin and the beginning of life. I started to understand his art better after I have been exploring femininity and have been closely looking at the Womb. Kapoor often creates feminine holes, curvy shaped objects, entrances and curves that illustrate pregnancy. A lot his sculptures are deep red, the colour of menstrual blood, flesh, the blood of childbirth. In one of his interviews he stated that “ In Indian culture red is a powerful thing; it is the colour a bride wears; it is associated with the matriarchal, which is central to Indian psychology.” However the artist has been mainly interested in abstraction. His exploration of the femininity is more of an investigation of the dark place of imagination. For me the power of his work is in uniting the opposites, metaphysical dualities together: sky and earth, male and female, light and dark.
I am also fascinated about his approach to new materials. He is working with Vantablack, the darkest material after black holes. Kapoor has been involved with the idea of the void object; non-object that absorbs light. I also believe that new materials bring a lot of new possibilities.
Anish Kapoor on beauty:
“Beauty is not something that is static. Beauty is always changing; our concepts of beauty change all the time. They are independent on the beholder. It is never just one thing. However beautiful a person, a thing, whatever else, there is always that other side. “Oh yes, very beautiful, but…” and depending on the situation, the time… It’s a fragile condition and I think that is the key to recognize. Both beauty and ugliness, beauty and its opposite, are in flux.”
Anish Kapoor on red:
“I began to evolve a colour symbolism for myself. Although I don’t think very much about colours now, I still feel strongly about it. So things came to be about parts. In this thinking about colours, yellow is the passionate part of red, and blue is the godly part of red. But red is a very physical colour. It’s very much about earth, it’s blood, obviously. It’s very here. That’s how I understood yellow to be something passionate, next to the red. It also has to do with form. A flat red isn’t the same as a round red or square red. If the context is controlled, if the context is a given one.”
Anish Kapoor on When I am Pregnant:
“Ayers Rock as it was known then; a very powerful proto-place and quite the most religious place I’ve ever been to. I spent four or five days there. I’d get up at four o’clock every morning, drive to it, and spend the whole day doing the circumference walk. Unbelievable things revealed themselves every day. I felt deeply connected with it, and with a kind of possible interpretation, a symbolic interpretation of the holes and the strips of stone that seem to be leaning against it. I was amazed, not at the monolith, but at the way the monolith seemed to be made up of symbolic events. It is so powerful, I can’t tell you. I wrote very extensive notes of my trip there, one of the ideas I wrote down was simply “white form on a white wall.” When I am Pregnant, an object in a state of becoming, was the result.
I came back to London and proceeded to make a white form on a white wall—I had to have a form that could be both present and not present. The form sticks out of the wall a good foot and a half. To get it to disappear you have to pull the form out in every direction, attenuate it, so that it blends itself out into the wall. I love the physicality of that! This is a full, pregnant form and yet it is not present. When you look at it directly it looks like fuzz on the wall, inhabiting that “non-object” state. Of course, I had already done a lot of work with the idea of the void object. I was looking for states of material that push their physical boundaries of their physical status. I like the idea that all material has a kind of immaterial present (modern quantum physics would fully support that notion). As you know, I’m obsessed with the “proto” and I love the idea of the pregnant. I’ve always felt drawn to aspects of the feminine, which shows in a lot of what I do. I read somewhere that certain monks formally ask each other if they are pregnant yet, and that has to do with whether they have reached a state of spiritual accomplishment.”