Acrylic and gold pigment on canvas, bronze sculpture
80 x 180 in. / 203 x 457 cm. (painting)
10.5 x 11 x 18.5 in. / 27 x 28 x 47cm. (bronze sculpture)
Closely related to works such as Artist Making Local Call and 365 Lives, Rickshawpolis is a collisionscape where the city—pictured as a tumbling mass of cars, buses, rickshaws, trucks and derelict buildings—explodes outward like a billowing cloud. Cows meander through the exploding cityscape as pedestrians, cyclists and bullock carts jostle for space.
The painting captures the claustrophobia and bewilderment experienced by those who live in India’s urban jungles where traffic snakes through streets in frenzied bursts. The disorienting cascade of vehicles, people and buildings evoke the feverish outward expansion of Indian cities. Bearing the weight of this monumental painting are two gargoyles—voracious open-mouthed beasts adapted from the gothic sculptures that adorn the façade of the Victoria Terminus (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus) in Mumbai.