Art Street: The 4-D Maratha Mawla Sculpture at Mumbai’s Kandarpada Metro Station Is Beyond Enchanting

A 12ft tall metal sculpture of Maratha Mawla blowing a ‘Tutari’ (a musical instrument) gives a royal welcome to passengers arriving at the Kandarpada elevated metro station in Dahisar in Mumbai. The artwork is a replica of an ancient Maharashtrian culture home to the Maratha kings. Although at first glance it may appear to be just another work of art on the street, what catches the eye is the variable appearance of the installation from different angles, as well as a disappearance effect.

But as commuters get closer, they see flat sheets take the shape of a man, just like a cutout. Along the way, the cut takes the form of a solid sculpture. Once you are directly in front or behind the work, the sculpture partially disappears as you look through the space in the work. Everyone who witnesses this effect ends up circling around the sculpture in awe!

Former local corporal Abhishek Ghosalkar had commissioned this work through the civic body’s fund for the beautification of the locality.

This, as artist duo SR Waikar explains, is the 4D sheet metal sculpture meant to give a different experience.

“It is made of several sheets of metal of different sizes assembled keeping a fixed space between each of the two. Thanks to this space, if you look at the sculpture exactly from the back or the front, the shape is likely to disappear because you will be able to see through the spaces in between. Looking at it from the side, we will only see a sheet metal cut out in the shape of a man. But from every other angle, you can see a solid sculpture because all the metal sheets put together make it look complete,” said Santosh Waikar, one of the two artist brothers who created this sculpture.

Santosh and Sachin Waikar, both alumni of the prestigious Sir JJ School of Art, have worked to install artwork in the streets of Bombay for a few years. Known as SR Waikar Artists, the duo have always strived to give people a completely different experience through their art.

While the inspiration for the Maratha Mawla sculpture was taken from a few international street art pieces seen on the internet, a 3D digital model was created on a computer before work began.

“Although the gap between each of the two sheets is exactly one inch, the sizes of the sheets are different. This is to ensure that we get a complete shape of a man,” Santosh said. Due to the locality’s proximity to the mangroves, the sculpture was given a special clear exterior coating to prevent rust.

Former local business leader Abhishek Ghosalkar, who commissioned the work through the civic body’s local beautification fund, said: “It was almost a year ago and the metro station was coming. We decided to have a Maratha Mawla blowing a Tutari, symbolic of the ancient custom of greeting Maratha kings. We were hoping for a grand gesture of welcome for those coming out of the metro station. And a 4D sculpt just made it more intriguing for onlookers.

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