Karnataka Lalithakala Academy calls racecourse circle sculpture ‘ugly blot on city'

The Karnataka Lalithakala Academy has ridiculed the cement sculptures installed by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) under a public-private-partnership scheme at four locations here, describing the one of four prancing horses at the racecourse circle as an “ugly blot on Bangalore”.

The academy advised the BBMP to immediately remove this “eyesore” and install in its place a sculpture “worthy of the time we live in” and “worthy of the city”. It said sculptures must be aesthetic and contemporary and appealed to the civic authority not to undertake any beautifying project without consulting experienced and eminent artists/sculptors and architects.

Basic errors

Academy Chairman C.S. Krishna Setty told presspersons here that the sculpture in question, ‘Chathur Shakthi', was the “epitome of bad taste” besides being amateurish. “[It doesn't have] even the basic physical proportions and anatomy of horses.”

Referring to the inscribed plaque in the name of the BBMP Commissioner which states that these horses represent “victory, power, and courage, reflecting the strides Bangalore has made in all spheres”, Mr. Setty questioned how such amateurish work could hope to convey — let alone inspire — the contents of the inscription.

“On the contrary, such indifferent ‘beautifying' efforts [shame and insult] this city and the artists living here,” he said.

Karnataka in general and Bangalore in particular badly needs public art comprising not only sculptures but also murals and paintings in various mediums at large bus-stands, railway stations, airports, parks and traffic junctions.

Mr. Setty said the government should constitute a public art commission comprising only eminent, experienced artists, sculptors, art critics, architects, environmentalists and town planners, to guide and regulate art projects. The commission's decision should be binding on all authorities. This was how public art projects were decided in major cities across the world, he pointed out.

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