Nek Chand’s Outsider Art
For fourteen years, Nek Chand secretly transported thousands of stones by bicycle from the Himalayan foothills to a secluded, government-owned jungle clearing. There he combined them with urban debris–corroded wires, sheet metal, bicycle parts, tubes, tires, multicolored tissue, glass and feathers–to make statuettes. In 1972, authorities stumbled upon his menagerie of elephants, horses, monkeys, birds, and figures and eventually decided to support his project at what is now the second most-visited site in India after the Taj Mahal. Authorative text, an interview, 140 illustrations, and a detailed site map pay homage to this singular fantasy universe. This book is published for the exhibition at the American Folk Art Museum (April 4-September 24, 2006).