Anish Kapoor (born in 1954) is not just an artist, he’s also a great illusionist.
He is helping to set in motion the blurring of mankind’s perception and in doing so touches on a mystical part of us that makes us pleasantly uncomfortable. He makes our heads spin.
The giant saucers attached to the wall in blue, blood-red or metal multifaceted, so they give an illusion of depth due to their material – and which are (over) flooding the art market – have become his trademark.
But he has made far better work. Remember his enormous installation in Paris in 2011 that occupied the central section of the Grand Palais, his supreme artwork, a sort of giant original matrix in dark red.
Those were the days when the Grand Palais was ambitious… before the most beautiful building in Paris reduced itself to presenting purely playful or insubstantial exhibitions like it so often does today.
As demonstrated perfectly by the Anish Kapoor exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in 2009, he produces within a dual genre: sensory illusion on the one hand and trash, dirt and mess on the other.
It’s dual like the identity of the well spoken British artist himself, selected as a Turner Prize winner in 1991, who left his youth amid the bustling chaos of Bombay.
At the Kamel Mennour Gallery in Paris he’s displaying a new work until 21 July that evokes flesh, sex and war: lots of red, lots of violence, and lots of exposed materials with the guts laid bare.
The artist himself is also laid bare in this intense interview, which was only briefly interrupted by an unknown dog for which he shows a spontaneous affection.
You seem to have two parts. One is all about sensitive illusion. The other is all about dirt and mess. Can you explain this dichotomy?
You seem to have a fascination for the purity of colours. Where does it come from?
Are you a mystical person?
Looking at your blue work it seems to evoke Klein and looking at your red one evokes Rembrandt or Soutine. What do you think of this?
Your new paintings seem to be about flesh and sex?
Is there anything you miss about India?
Is it more exciting to work on a large scale?
What’s your next big project?
What’s your next dream?
What do you want people to remember about you?
Anish Kapoor. Another (M) other. Kamel Mennour. www.kamelmennour.com