[Psychologies] ‘I use waste materials and turn them into works of art’

Neeraj Gupta
Neeraj Gupta,43, Sculptor

How did you get into sculpting?

My interest drew me towards it. Sculpture is my passion. I am self-taught, I haven’t learned what I do anywhere formally.

What tools do you use?
I use the conventional tools. I keep it simple. For example, most times, a drill works just fine. What makes my work different is the fact that I use utensils and articles, otherwise given away to kabadiwallahs, and transform them. So, I begin by using waste materials and turn them into works of art. Which is why I use dead wood from fallen trees to create sculptures.

What are you themes?
My works have a traditional flavour. The concepts are rooted in Indian culture and history, such as the Natya Shastra. My objective is preservation. I don’t like to see things go to waste. There is only a slight difference between art and craft and I prefer to make the maximum use of objects by recycling them into an art form.

Do you experiment with more modern themes?
I am not sure what exactly would be modern, and for how long it would be so. I derive creative satisfaction from exploring our ancient roots rather than modern experimentations. Indian heritage is very rich and there is so much to express through it.

Who inspires you?
I have only one source of inspiration and that is Dr Kapila Vatsyayan. She is a prolific scholar whose knowledge extends to Indian classical dance, Indian art, and architecture.

What kind of art do people respond to the most?
I cannot generalise. People respond to good work that fascinates them. It’s not so much the art form, such as sculpture, but the way I present it.

What do you think of 3D and mixed media as art mediums?
That is not my cup of tea at all. Western models and too much technology do not interest me I don’t see myself incorporating it in my art.