paint, resin, steel
Jitish Kallat, 2008
At first I thought this piece by Indian artist Jitish Kallat was an oil tanker truck, and that it represented some sort of play on "fossil fuels" (and perhaps the morbidity of the behemoth domestic auto companies). But apparently that was my American bias at work.
It's actually a water tanker, entitled Aquasaurus, and it represents the rapid transformation of urban India:
Aquasaurus is a monumental seven-metre long skeletal sculpture of a water-tanker morphing to become prehistoric creature that personifies the radical transformation of Indian city life. Resembling a prized natural-history museum piece, Aquasaurus - with its grinning mouth, menacing teeth and interior void - is both inviting and repulsive.
The rapid pace of India's growth and unchecked urban development means that water is becoming increasingly scarce for millions of people. While pumps bore deeper into the ground and groundwater levels drop alarmingly, the Public Works Department provides a subsidised service to the people of the city, allowing them to buy tanker-loads of water delivered to their doorstep. (source)
It's always fascinating to see how a single artwork has very different resonances and connotations for people of various backgrounds and cultures!
Another of Kallat's recent works, Public Notice 2, is an entire speech by Mahatma Gandhi spelled out in letters shaped like carpal bones. View more at the Saatchi Gallery.