Art is nothing but a line around your thoughts

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Anupama Nair

www.mediaeyenews.com

 

This is a question I ask frequently, what is art? I have admired many paintings of Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Van Gogh? “A man who works with his hands is a labourer, a man who works with his hands and brain is a craftsman but a man who works with his hands and brain and his heart is an artist”. Art is nothing but a line around your thoughts. In the words of John Lubbock, “art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colours flowers, so does art colour life”.

Rahul Inamdar is an Indian artist par excellence. “He is an alchemist of formless colour gradients who does not fit into any genres. His creative process involves the inward search and process of eliminating formal aspects of memory in order to distill the essence of sense elements into line, mass and color. Wordless thought turns into color masses that propel the viewer onto a sensory imaginative journey. He leads the way in the use of translucent color washes with pigments that he has carefully mixed into his own aesthetic palette which liquify shapes into imperceptible gradients.

It was my one-time life experience to speak to him and get his thoughts on his favorite genre art.

What inspired you to quit your well-paid corporate job to pursue art as a full-time career?

“In my corporate career I was fortunate enough to work on innovation and brands quite early, which was my dream when I was studying management at JBIMS. However, the companies are designed for scale. Rarely a corporate job allows one to be hands-on or work without a team structure as one grows. Driven by an objective, a large part of it is about getting people to work the way you want them to.  

Art on the other hand is quite individual-centric. An artist is involved in the purpose or philosophy, to the process, technique and medium. While outcome is what is seen, the underlying stream of thought or thoughtlessness is what matters. If one is willing to wait, and walk in the dark – every moment spent making or even thinking about art is many times more enriching than anything else. The process of creation brings about a phenomenal change in the maker, aligning one's work with one's core self. This had a great appeal for me. 

That is why after ten years of corporate work, and three years of studio practice, art managed to pull me to move from the comfort zone.

Every artist has an inspiration to create great work of art, what was yours?

“Surrender is a very intriguing idea. We find references to it in the Bhakti Literature, classical music, meditation, etc. Can one create while practicing a complete surrender to the moment? Can one cede the belief that one is in control of the medium and reduce to a role of an arranger? Can one focus on the essence of this act, and experience the serendipitous coming to life of forms unseen? These thoughts have been at the core of my recent practice, leading to a complete shift in process, media and methods of application. I am still working in this space. 

Who is your favorite artist and what do you like the most about them?

“I resonate with the work, more so, with the work of late Mark Rothko, especially the chapel works. The pieces of work don't feel as if they have been painted — it feels as if they have taken birth. There is a certain oneness to them, born out of simplicity. At the same time these works were not devoid of detail. The scale of these works engulfs you  when you inevitably enter the space they contain. To achieve such breath-taking works in a person’s lifetime is nothing short of a miracle”. 

How have you have evolved as an artist?

“If we do any work attentively, it opens itself to us. Evolution is never a choice but, it is just the function of time, when the work is one's calling. Paintings are an outcome of a process. The process begins in the mind or lack of mind, on the canvas, in the colors and the evolution of oneself, is the evolution one sees in the works.  When an artist works with a medium, as the work on the canvas changes, the artist also changes. There is no distinction between the time, the artist and the canvas —  it all becomes an effortless one. Evolution is natural, efforts are required to 'not evolve' “. 

What is art to you?

“My art is my calling, my space. When I speak about my art I am not speaking about the paintings, I see paintings more as a medium to distill myself. It is a process that runs synchronously with my life. Each work is a moment in time where I have managed to lose myself and flow with the material”. 

Did you face any challenges being an artist and what did you do to face them or overcome them?

“My notion of space and time isn't aligned with the world. Studio helps me there in the studio with a mobile phone in DND mode, I get infinite space-time. I practice active forgetting, to get into a state that has no reference points before I begin to work. When one gets rid of the memory, one can be in the moment”. 

What are your views on “masterpiece”?

“Masterpiece is a work that creates a significant perceptual shift. Irrespective of the medium, it is able to grow from transaction to comprehension to emotion to connection. These don't stay in the memory of the viewer but change the way the viewer thinks and behaves thereby throwing open a window in the mind. Masterpieces have a life of their own, distinct from that of their maker and they keep evolving in the eye of the viewer. Such works have oneness to them and are essentially timeless. 

Does the theme ‘Merging Metamorphosis’ signify to you?

“Change is a natural part of one’s being. We think, we age, and we change at every moment”. Metamorphosis is a more identifiable change a shift so stark that it cannot be denied. My work takes place in waves, rather than series. Each wave is preceded by a question that is a simple one such as ‘what is surrender?’ or ‘what is space?’ I like to contemplate on it for months, through angles of not just art, but sciences, design, philosophy, architecture, literature, music. The objective is not to find an answer, but to realize the question. The work follows over a period of time. Personally, the question is a trigger for a shift significant enough to be called a metamorphosis. But at a broad level, any stimulus could do the same. 

Alex comes from a design background, and works on sculptures with media that are far more defined – more like compositions. My work is spontaneous. His work and process makes me reflect upon the apparent duality – which could be the trigger for further metamorphosis, merged.  

What was your inspiration to create this piece of masterpiece?

Surrender is a very intriguing idea. We find references to it in the Bhakti literature, classical music and meditation. Can one create while practicing a complete surrender to the moment?  Can one cede the belief that one is in control of the medium and reduce to a role of an arranger? Can one focus on the essence of this act, and experience the serendipitous coming to life of forms unseen? These thoughts have been at the core of my recent practice, leading to a complete shift in process, media and methods of application. I am still working in this space.  

Every artist has a favourite piece of art, what is yours? 

I don't have any favourite piece of art as such but I find this particular work oil on canvas, quite intriguing. The ethereality, transparency, tones move me, make me go through it with a lot more detail, again and again.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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