Christie's is delighted to offer Peacock Elephant, a striking sculpture by the Lebanese artist, architect and founder of the Atelier Hapsitus, Nadim Karam. Derived from his acclaimed Urban Toys, the present work is an elegant and captivating sculpture, made entirely in polished stainless steel.
Known for his commissioned sculptures and installations that are to be found in cities around the world namely Melbourne, Prague, Beirut and London, Nadim Karam has gained an international reputation with his innovative project, The Cloud, an innovation in the concept of public spaces within the cityscape of Dubai. According to Karam, the cities as well as its inhabitants need to dream and his Urban Toys, with their distinctive vocabulary, break free from the urban routine, diffuse optimistic energies and bring to life the environments of the modern world.
Nadim Karam endlessly revisits the theme of the elephant, not only because of the wide surface of exploration it offers, but also for the extreme simplicity of its shape. The quantity of memories, stories and dreams of the Peacock Elephant can no longer be contained within his own body. They grow all around him, fanning out into an enormous aura more than three times the size of the elephant itself. The texture of the sculpture is of an intricacy and lightness that gives the elephant an almost airborne appearance. The shiny finish of the work invokes the lightness and, as it captures the reflection of the elephant's surroundings, the viewer and the elephant become one as they interact. Known for remembering details and events for its entire lifetime, the elephant symbolises durable memory and endless creation. Karam infuses his work with a fresh sense of childlike innocence and wonder that invites the viewer into the artist's imaginative and fantastical world.
Through the re-appropriation of archaic, almost primitive-looking, pictograms and symbols, Nadim Karam further ensures the sculpture's timelessness and universality. The fact that the iconography prevailing in his installations and sculptures seeks to transcend social, political and national borders may also find its source in the fact that the artist has lived and travelled extensively around the world. Through his body of works, Karam creates dreams and dialogues, and incites moments for people to stop, question and perhaps smile.
Nadim Karam's works have appeared in many exhibitions worldwide and are highlighted in important private and public collections. His monumental series of elephants entitled Elephants Trio is currently on display at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.