Down to earth

Anish Kapoor, Vertigo and Non-Object (Pole), both 2008

On one level, this is probably the most inappropriately titled post I’ve written. Anish Kapoor’s work is, in my view at least, usually very far from down to earth. At its best, Kapoor’s work is extraordinary; it can redefine the space it occupies and disorientate, baffle and sometimes entertain its viewers. But – with the notable exception of the quietly beautiful, and easily overlooked, pregnant wall pieces – subtle it ain’t. Pompous, yes. Excessive, certainly. Subtle, not so much.

To start with the entertaining, by bringing strangely distorting mirrored surfaces into the gallery space, Kapoor entices his audience to pose and play. This is art crossed with the funfair in the form of the hall of mirrors and it’s hard not to be beguiled by the result. Moving backwards and forwards before the mirrors, we might get fatter and thinner or be turned upside down. The results aren’t exactly profound but they are both beautiful and good fun.

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