Sculptor Tyrell Valladares’ installations live and breathe his vision...

Meet the man who transforms his ideas into materials and freezes them in time. Tyrell Valladares’s sculptures bring desperately needed visual relief to Mumbai’s grey landscape. They forever alter the way you look at scraps of metal, his preferred medium of expression. It’s a no-brainer that his company is named Metalhead. His most famous commission is an incredible larger-than-life 800-kilogram, 3,500-sprocket version of the iconic Indian cricketing jersey. You find yourself as one of the cogs that makes the wheels of cricket turn. Its scale reminds us that the game is always bigger than any individual.

Tyrell calls Bandra home. You’re not surprised when he tells you that his mother makes hand crafted décor and his sister is a jewellery designer. “I’ve grown up in an atmosphere where we were always encouraged to explore our creativity,” he says. The artist in him is happiest when he hunts for discarded metal in the city’s scrapyards. When he isn’t scavenging or sketching new designs, the athlete in him is dedicated to his favourite sports: cricket and football.

How did you discover your love for sculpting?

I initially started with painting canvas. Later, I was fascinated with metal. I got interested in shapes and forms. I wanted to explore 2D forms to try and make things with my own hands. When I began to explore sculpting, I was already flying with Jet Airways. I spent all my time off working with metal on the terrace at home. When I was grounded with a sports injury, I took the opportunity to do a welding course. I haven’t looked back since.

Why are you so passionate about sculpting?

I enjoy art in all its forms, though sculpting is definitely my favourite means of expression. My work is an extended expression of myself. It is something that allows me to be completely free and honest.

What inspires you?

I find inspiration from everything around me: nature, shapes, forms and colours. Street art is my biggest inspiration. The works of Banksy, a famous graffiti artist and Shepard Fairey, a contemporary street artist never fail to amaze me.

What is the ideal sculptor’s studio?

An ideal studio is where you have a lot of open space and access to materials round the clock along. It also needs a good sound system with my music blaring.

What are you working on now? What would you like to do with your art in the future?

I have lived in Bandra all my life. At the moment, I have an opportunity to add ‘drama in design’ to the streets here. It’s very near to my heart. I will make installations for traffic islands as well as graffiti on some of the walls in the suburb. I am working hard to become a recognised artist and to make bigger and bolder installations. I want my work displayed in as many places as possible. I want my work to be exhibited around the world.


(Photo Credits: Akshay Tambe)

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