Abhijit Goswami



The Artist as shaman. Art, like religion, is illuminating and elevating when it is able to project the viewer/audience out of the day to day world; little else can. I work with this notion in mind in order to produce paintings that provide a sense of balance, of mental repose. The motifs for my paintings are born in images that flash into my consciousness during meditation. These fleeting images are then wrung through a complex process of construction by drawing and then deconstruction in color and with texture; the process is complicated by the fact that I have no further recourse or reference to that evanescent image in my imagination. My background informs my artwork by way of the (uniquely, almost of equal weight and validity in my personal makeup) shared learning and experiences from the very different cultures of my birthplace - India - and my workplace - the United States. I am aware that this difference does bring about an independent, personal effect on my work. When a viewer in the West comments on the work, it is mostly that the content and color are “so Indian” and an Indian viewer perceives a pronounced western style in it. My work is influenced by an amalgam of my formal education and study of Physics, and on the other hand, Business; art theory and history; and spiritual philosophy in western and eastern thought.

The paintings finally transform to the appearance of tapestry with the brushstrokes showing as the threads that weave it, especially with the variety of brushstrokes that I employ. The painting itself contains a frame drawn with paint enclosing the motif, hinting at the existence of a larger truth beyond. I employ varied materials, including that for the support: different paint media and mixes such as with sand, plaster, clay, aluminum foil, steel wool, rice paste, and supports such as cotton, muslin, burlap, paper, canvas. Given the origin of my motifs, I have no recollection of the colors present in the fleeting images or indeed if they were in color. I use this as a reason to start with widely conflicting colors as the start of the journey on each occasion and, through the struggle with the life inherent in the process itself, arrive at a harmony in reconciliation of the colors. Perhaps the viewer does not get to see the struggle in the final painting.

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