Not Playing to the Gallery
Neeraj Rawal's eyes light up as he talks about sculpting and making prosthetic limbs — in the same breath. From intricate details of body parts such as fingers — complete with friction ridges, lines and wrinkles, to life-sized sculptures of heads in a state of meditation, a recurring theme in his work, the 23-year-old sees both genres as art. Given that this time of the year is generally latent in the art world, Rawal's preoccupation with prosthetic limbs, which he does for free in collaboration with some hospitals in Delhi, has not come out of desperation. "Sculptors can work on almost any medium — be it for engineering, painting or, in this case, medical purposes," says the resident of Delhi's Sadar Bazar.
A native of Panipat, Rawal came to Delhi five years ago to live with his uncle, who is also inclined towards art and is partly responsible for pushing Rawal into this field. He attracted a few art aficianados in 2010 with his sculptures at the 58th annual exhibition of College of Art, Delhi, especially for his work called Street Car Named Desire. This installation sold for Rs 5 lakh to a private collector. These days, besides making prosthetic limbs, Rawal — who graduated this year — is working towards getting financial support to be on his own as a professional artist.
But the trials and tribulations of taking his art "out there" have struck him only now. Till date, he has been able to manage only one independent exhibition — the one at Talkatora Stadium in 2011, where he exhibited sculptures and paintings based on the theme of corruption. "That is why," he says with a resigned shrug, "I want to apply for an MA in Sculpture so that I have time to think over building my own studio and getting my artwork into the public domain."
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