I met Painter Srushti Mandar Rao, several years back to interview her for a print magazine. And now we thought would be the right time to interview her again, this time for A Journalist Reveals. She is of the opinion, “Art has a very promising future, people now understand art more than they used to. The sensibilities of people and patrons are changing. I am proud of being a part of the generation of artists that are not scared to experiment. I believe that an artist never ceases to grow and I would follow that path.”
Excerpts from the recent interview:
When did you decide you have got to become an artist?
I never particularly ‘decided’ to become an artist. It was a natural progression for me. As a child I used to draw and paint, as I grew up I continued drawing and painting along with my academic studies. Even in 11th and 12th I had taken Biology and Math as my subjects to keep my ‘options open’, although I had told my parents that I wanted to get into a creative career. They had no issues with it till I did science till 12th.
Your educational qualifications?
I completed my Bachelors in Fine Arts specializing in paintings after 12th. I have since been interested in art history, philosophy and aesthetics. I am currently doing my Diploma in Indian Aesthetics and pursuing Philosophy. The intent is to complete my Ph.D. eventually.
What did your parents say about your taking to painting since art is not a paying job?
Painting in itself is not a paying job. However, it opens avenues to creative careers. After completing graduation I started working in advertising and film production (art direction). That was always the plan and my parents were aware of it and hence supportive. My father had only taken a promise that I should do my MBA after graduation, so I enrolled in PGDBM specializing in marketing after a couple years of work experience.
How important is color scheme in every painting? Do they have any set rules?
Color is something that holds the complete art-work together. Though we study color rules when we study Art and Painting, as an artist grows in their work, they derive their own schemes. It is always better to know what the rules are but one cannot restrict oneself to abide by it. I believe in letting the colors come to me naturally as I begin work on a new piece. It’s amazing how the colors align themselves to a work of art and speak.
Does the mood of the artist influence the end result of the painting?
Absolutely! That what is honest art. Any artwork that has been done by an artist at a particular moment or in a particular phase in life would reflect the mood and emotion. Art needs to be able to derive that from the artist and then present it to the audience for their own interpretation. The interpretation of the artwork typically would reflect the mood of the audience at that time. Abstraction is open to a vast variety of interpretations and that’s the beauty of it.
Do auction houses play a role in art scenario?
Auction houses are great for collections or movement of art that has been there for some time. It helps in presenting existing artworks with collectors. There are very few auction houses that work with artists and promote new or upcoming art.
Are auction houses helpful in the development of art?
Auction houses would typically work with larger collections and/or galleries in presenting their artworks within a specified network and net worth. Since there are very few who work with newer talents, I wouldn’t be able to comment on how helpful they are in development of Art.
Where and how do you see yourself in the future?
I would continue to create. That’s what an artist does. I would like to show my works to as many art lovers as I can. The art world is one industry that is not structured and one can’t say what one would be doing say 5 years or 10 years from now. My motto is to keep creating and showcasing.
Is there any difference between your earlier works and now?
My work has changed over the years. The technique, the colors and the themes. I still continue to paint in my unique style but a lot of more intricate aspects of what I do, have changed and that would be very apparent to the trained eyes.
What according to you is the art scenario in India?
It is incredible how many artists are taking art seriously in India now. We have a lot more artists doing fantastic works. We also have many art festivals now to support this growing understanding of art. Owing to these, the art is reaching many more people. A lot more people are talking about art now than they did, say 10 years ago. There are many more mediums, in which an artist can work and express today as against being restricted to one single medium. India is also warming up to the contemporary art space and I see it expanding in the future. A good thing is that the paintings are back, although painting wasn’t dead altogether, not in India at least. Since we started late, I believe we have a lot to take in and learn; and painting, as a field, still has a long way to go.
How can you juggle your time between your main work as a PR and paint?
I have always had two parallel careers – my work as an artist and my work as a marketing communications professional. I do not consciously have to juggle time. I can smoothly manage now after so many years of doing them both.
What are your future projects?
I am participating in a few shows this year nationally and internationally, as I said, the intention is to create and showcase. I am also in the process of becoming a published author with my first romance fiction hitting the market sometime this year, hopefully.