Following Bhabha’s ground-breaking installation of two monumental sculptures, We Come in Peace and Benaam as part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Roof Garden commission for 2018, Sotheby’s is pleased to offer this unique sculpture. In the inimitable style Bhabha has become renowned for, this figure is made up of a heavily textured surface, similar to the countenance of We Come in Peace. Bhabha prefers using repurposed materials such as clay, Styrofoam, wood and cork before casting her ethereal figures in bronze. “I love Styrofoam, found scraps of wood and metal and other garbage; I have used these materials in my art for a long time—maybe because I’m interested in collage and assemblage, but also because there is an element of chance in picking up these free materials that can lead to very beautiful results,” Bhabha has said. (https://news.artnet.com/art-world/huma-bhabha-met-roof-commission-1266446) The use of these unique materials is a deliberate exercise in scraping and carving an intersex form, devoid of nationalism, race or gender, her ‘rendering of gender and sexuality seeks to cut across binaries of male and female.’ (S. Jhaveri, The Roof Garden Commission: Huma Bhabha, We Come in Peace, Yale University Press, 2018, pp. 15-16)
Bhabha says all of her works speak to her, so what does this sculpture say? This multi-faceted and genderless sculpture looks back at us intensely, silently participating in the conversation, daring us to try and understand it outside of social constructs we tend to cling to, to identify forms around us. The figure offers each viewer an opportunity at a unique and abstract observation. “If they wish, viewers can make up their own story,” explains Bhabha. “My objective is to give life, personality, and power to the sculptures, so they become something or someone… I don’t believe in borders or nationalism.” (https://www.vanityfair.com/london/2018/10/huma-bhabha-artist-profile)
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