Khalil Chishtee
Pakistani, born 1964

Using shredded, bunched, bundled, and knotted plastic bags, Khalil Chishtee creates evocative figural sculptures imbued with emotional tension. Though he sometimes uses tables, chairs, or other objects as the armature for his more extensive installations, Chishtee mostly works only with the bags themselves, constructing his sculptures by artfully manipulating the plastic as if he were working with clay. “Trash bags feel like clay in my fingers,” he says. “No adhesive or thread is ever used to construct the sculptures.” As in Your Success, My Failure (2007), Chishtee’s figures are often shown in the midst of fraught narratives that refer to the pain and pleasure of love. In this work, a woman walks precariously across a tightrope, while a man gazes up at her, ready to protect her if she falls.

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