Ankit Patel is a dynamic sculptor who makes solid matter into curvaceous movement.The curves seek to suggest that solids are liquids.
His forms create human rhythms of bodies which are elastic and suggest elasticity of the human body where flesh breathing.
His Kinetic creations which exude form in every movement can only be revealed by his skill and presentation.
Mulk Raj Anand
An artist who believes in life
Ankit Patel has found the idiom to express his creative urge in kinesis. He has, time and again, used the concept of movement to cannote not just movement but life, life force and energy as most aptly expressed in sports of different kinds. Yet this is only a medium to say what lies beneath the surface. His works project the energy of love and bonding that begets and sustains life. In a complex synergy he combines his rural childhood and the sculptural training with his social concerns to shape figures that exude force and movement.
In his current exhibition and some that had preceded this, he is preoccupied with the topicality of ‘Sport’. At times it had been the bad performance of the Hockey team and at others the national neglect of sport that has driven him to explore the indigenous Indian sports like the Mallakhambh, Gilli Danda or the village sports where most of the props are devised. In the current exhibition, he has explored the kinetic variations sport offers. In the process, he has chosen to explored the limits to which human body can stretch itself to reach the ultimate point. As one goes from one sculpture to another, the corollary transforms. The bodily movement, the effort to reach the final point physically, acquires a different dimension and emerges gradually, as a symbol of human spirit. With this conversion every postural movement frozen in a sculpture becomes universal. “Go Get It”, stands for support that bonds to players; “In Union We Achieve” stands for team spirit in a game and in life. The sculptures “Come Join us”, “The Game Begins”, “It’s Your Turn” are about team spirit, brotherhood and love. In the ultimate analysis, a corollary of life situations builds.
There are other sculptures that project not so much a game with the ball but rather a kind of ball – dance or an aesthetic dance where ball is used as a prop. All these postures that really show a captured movement- a movement that has an antecedent movement and a precedent movement are physiologically accurate. This accuracy gives it a symmetrical beauty that is akin to the ‘frozen beauty’ John keats talks about in his Ode to Grecian Urn. The sculptural figures are caught in a posture with the ball and the bodies are supporting each other in a delicate balance by just a touch of the leg, or a hand. It is almost like life itself hangs in balance in these sculptures. All the sculpture have a three dimensional fluidity that depict continuity. Markedly, the individuals in the sculpture do not have a face for it is the movement that is their identity. The devise to keep them faceless also adds to convert the physical into the symbolic. His acrobatic figures that swerve around a pole have the same quality.
Ankit believes in big dimensions for they carry a certain presence and they make a larger than life statement. His sculptures vary from 2 feet to 10 feet in height. The out door quality of his bigger works not only builds a powerful impact, it also opens them to a wider individual interpretation. As the ancient aesthete, Abhinav Gupt said, suggestion is artist’s domain but finding meanings in a work of art is the viewer’s domain. The success of an artist lies in giving full scope to both- the suggestion and the interpretation. Ankit Patel gives full play to viewers’ imagination by choosing his subjects from everyday life. Very many times he has shaped a childhood memory, a prank which forms a bond between him and the viewer. This also universalizes the appeal of his sculptures.
Ankit has experimented with many mediums and has finally found creative satisfaction in cast metal. In his hands the hard metal becomes pliable and supple. The artist, like god, infuses life and movement in it. There are no overtures to create a social comment. The comment emerges from the conceptuality of the subject. To quote Henry More, “There are universal shapes to which everyone is subconsciously conditioned and to which they can respond if their conscious control does not shut them off”. The thought applies most suitable to creative ventures of Ankit Patel for he is an artist who believes in life to again borrow a phrase from Henry Moore.
Dr. Mridul Bhasin
Art Critic & Journalist