Tell us a little about yourself and how you started painting?
I’m a graduate from The Shri Ram School and am pursuing a degree in Literature at Delhi University. I’m self-taught and have been drawing ever since I could hold a pencil, basically.
When did you discover this interest and how did you build upon it?
Like I said, my interest in art in general has been there from a young age. Novels, movies, and comic books have opened my eyes to the concept of the unreal and the fantastic. My style has developed on its own over the years.
Tell us about your latest project “Of Myths”.
‘Of Myths’ is the title for my first solo exhibition at the end of the month at the India Habitat Center. It seeks to mix mythology and fantasy to re–imagine the stories and legends of Shiva and Ravana in an illustrative style. While being loosely based on the depictions of the divine, ‘Of Myths’ is a culmination of a lot of other ideas in my mind, styles which I would possibly explore and showcase at a later stage.
What inspired you to start working with mythical characters?
In 2010, I was working on a project for the lifestyle channel NDTV Goodtimes, and did a series of illustrations for them, for one of their travel shows which were based on the origins of the kumbhmela; the research of which led me into the celestial world of Indian mythology. From there on, I began to explore its various facets. I soon had to become selective in my approach as Indian mythology in general was too vast for me to cover as a theme.
How would you classify your style of illustrations?
I think at this point it’s fair to say that I have absolutely no idea! Like I said, ‘Of Myths’ brings together various ideas I previously thought to take on. There are elements of Renaissance human figures along with intense detail and abstract elements as well, so I leave my style open for interpretation currently.
What are your other interests apart from illustrating?
Mostly sports, I play football regularly. I enjoy movies and music, as well as photography. Well, to be honest I’m quite lazy also and just love watching TV, like a lot of it.
River Of Glass
What are your expectations of “Of Myths”. Do you think the Delhi audience would connect to your depiction?
I hope so, at this point I’m really excited as well as nervous. The problem with taking up a topic like mythology is that you have to be exceptionally humble about it. For me, art is about perception, and I hope my audience is accommodating and appreciates not only the concept behind the art, but more importantly, the art itself. The response has been good so far, and all one can do at this stage is hope for the best.
Well for ‘Of Myths’ in particular I studied the work of Michelangelo closely, as well as work by artists like John Howe, Frank Frazetta and Alan Lee. Apart from that I greatly admire artists like M.C. Escher, Salvador Dali, Monet and Degas.
Where do you see yourself 10 years down the line, what would you be capturing on the canvas?
Hopefully on a beach in Fiji. It’s hard to say what one would be capturing; I would love to keep painting though. There is always that insatiable need to better oneself and I hope whatever I do is received well.
Abduction Of Sita
What role do your paintings play in your life?
I wouldn’t say that they have a major role, but yes, a lot of my paintings express feelings. Some my own, and some describing the emotions of those surrounding me.
What are your views on Emaho Magazine?
It seems exciting, refreshing and upcoming; it features a lot of interesting topics and I look forward to being featured by them.
Interviewed by: Vrinda Mathur