This just in: An amazing picture from Bangkok, which the Washington Post reports is in a state of “near-anarchy” amid clashes between the Thai government and protesters. The picture, taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Adrees Latif and featured on the Post’s website (below), shows what Reuters identifies as Bangkok’s CentralWorld Plaza shopping center aflame. (CentralWorld Plaza is the second-largest shopping mall in Southeast Asia.) Everything in the photo is on fire, tattered, or in the process of being destroyed. Everything, that is, except for a sculpture by Indian artist Ravinder Reddy. It is untouched.
Christina Pannos, the director of Chicago’s Walsh Gallery (which represents Reddy), said that Reddy made the work, titled The Head, in 2009. It was created to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of diplomatic relations between Thailand and India. The work is about 13 feet tall.
Reddy’s work is in the collection of a dozen Asian museums, but according to his gallery bio he’s in the collection of only one American museum: The just re-opened, expanded Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Their Reddy, Krishnaveni I (1997, at right) is on view now in the museum’s Rick Mather-designed contemporary art galleries. (It’s hard to tell from this picture, but the VMFA Reddy is painted and gilded polyester-resin fiberglass. It’s about six feet tall, six feet deep and six feet wide.)
Update, 5.20.10: The New York Times put the photograph on its front page today. Take a look.
Related: Reddy’s 2001 show at Deitch Projects. The show was on view on 9/11.