Installation view of Raj Shahani's exhibition of sculptures at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai
Installation view of Raj Shahani's exhibition of sculptures at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai

New York-based Raj Shahani held first solo exhibition in Mumbai

Called Caesura/Continuum, the collection of bronze sculptures inspired by dancers in motion was on display at the Jehangir Art Gallery in the art district and then at Gallery Art & Soul in Worli

Caesura/Continuum - a week-long exhibition of sculptures by New York based artist Raj Shahani - was held at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Kala Ghoda, better known as the art district of the city. The opening was well received by members of the public and marked something of a homecoming for the Mumbai-born artist, who swapped a successful career in business to follow his calling as an artist. The exhibition brought together a selection of 25 bronze sculptures from the series titled Emotion, inspired by lyrical movements of the human body, through a sensitive and detailed observation of dancers in motion.

Photography marked the starting point of this series, which has been two years in the making. Moved by the eloquent fluidity and dynamic physicality of dancers, the artist began extensively photographing performances. This gave him a unique perspective on the power and beauty of the human form. Moving to the medium of sculptures allowed Shahani to articulate his sensitive reading of movement and physicality, in the three dimensional. The sculptures are near-life size, three-dimensional translations of his photographs of ballet and contemporary dancers, with an acute eye for detail and sensitivity to movement.

Prior to his work as an artist, Shahani spent over three decades as a businessman and marketing professional with companies in different corners of the world, before settling down in New York a few years ago. Only two years ago, he reignited his childhood love for the arts, and has made a name for himself as a prolific sculptor with a knack for creating exemplary human figurines

Describing his inaugural exhibition, Shahani says, “It’s really fantastic to be showing my work in my home town. Consciously or unconsciously, I was holding myself back for so long that now I don’t need any motivation to create art. Photography and sculpting are co-dependent for me. I don’t really have a system or process in place, I just let my creativity lead the way - and if I get stuck, I close my eyes and let the subconscious play its part. Often, I forget to eat, drink or rest when I’m in my studio, and revel in the fact that I can express myself so clearly now!”

Raj Shahani

About the Artist

Raj Shahani forsook a successful career in finance in New York City to follow his passion for art. He began developing his artist practice at the Arts Students League in New York, going on to work in studios in the United States and Amsterdam. He cites artists Phillipe Faraut (USA) and Jeremy Lipking (the Netherlands) as his mentors, encouraging him to follow his natural talent for sculpture.

Working out of his studios in the Bronx, Shahani is an active member on the board for the Arts Students League of New York. He is also on the board of The Most Outstanding American Teen, an initiative that encourages young students to hone their creative talents.

The artist lives between New York City and Mumbai.

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