Valay Shende (India, 1980), is a video artist and sculptor whose work focuses on the troubles plaguing contemporary urban society and its members. Not an easy task to undertake we hear you cry. As part of our The Awesome collection he released a series of sculptures in his unique, distinctive style, depicting what he defines as a universal symbol of love: the teddy bear. Quite the romantic wouldn’t you agree?
Valay is an established, world-exhibited artist, who decided to join The Public House of Art for two main reasons: the belief that art is for all, and everyone deserves to be loved. Yes, even you reading this with that ridiculous topknot and camouflage cargo shorts.
To give you a little background knowledge of our in-house celeb, in 2000 Valay received his Diploma in Art Teaching in Nagpur, and from there went on to train at the Sir J.J. School of Art, Mumbai, from where he graduated with a B.F.A. in Sculpture in 2004. He later completed an artist residency at the trendy Open Air Program, Point Éphémère, Paris in 2006.
This guy's CV is fucking endless, I mean honestly some of the names he has under his belt most artists don’t come close to in a lifetime. These include institutions from all across the world - Tate Modern, London to Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, and then back across the globe to Opera Gallery, Paris. Valay clearly gets around… All this worldwide coverage has caused his price tags to skyrocket, reaching above and beyond the $100,000 mark. To infinity and beyond we predict. For those of you who are interested, check out a more extensive version of what is on his CV at the bottom of the article. *
His teddy bear creations are part of a larger artistic project that he has developed in recent years, using his studio to build impressive, large-scale sculptures made of metal discs or other re-appropriated materials. Rough physical matter is manipulated in his work to create plastic, flawless shapes that are elevated to a highly expressive form of art. His sculptures suggest a sense of lightness and formal elegance that conceal the simplicity and hardness of the elements they are built with. Deep emotions and, at times, social issues are communicated to those who approach Valay’s artworks in an immediate, perceptual way through presence: a quality able to transform objects into something that is truly alive.
* Solo exhibitions include "Valay Shende: Indian Encounters' at Galerie Kashya Hildebrand, Zurich, in 2009 and 'Recent Works by Valay Shende' at Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai, in 2009. The artist has also participated in a number of group shows including 'Still Moving Image' at the Devi Art Foundation, Gurgaon, in 2008; 'New Narratives: Contemporary Art from India' at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, the Salina Art Centre, Salina, and the Chicago Cultural Centre, Chicago, in 2007-08; 'Frontier(s)' at the Department of Cotes d'Armor at Saint Brieuc, France, in 2007; 'Bombay Maximum City' at Lille 3000, France in 2006; 'Made by Indians: Art on the Beach' at Galerie Enrico Navarra, St. Tropez, in 2006; 'Between Myth and History: Indian Video Art' at Tate Modern, London, in 2006; and 'Indian Video Art: History in Motion' at Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka, in 2004.