In her latest exhibition Sacred Vanity, New York-based artist Rasika Reddy explores the multiple facets of the modern woman
“Painting is not a hobby for me, it is my profession,” declares this Hyderabad- born artist. A few minutes into the conversation and you will know what she means. “I look at painting as a profession as it keeps me hungry and focused and adds more meaning to my life,” adds Rasika.
Rasika decided to pursue her love for art while she was in England nine years ago and since then the journey has been an adventure, if not a discovery in itself. Rasika is currently in the city to showcase her new collection titled Sacred Vanity part 2, an extension of an earlier collection by the same name which was exhibited in New Jersey.
The reason for a part two, she discloses, is a matter of progression. “Works develop, it was an unfinished thought, so there has to be progression,” she explains. Her ideas find similarity in her personal life as well, she always maintained a connect with art since childhood. She started off with a job in the software industry but soon left it after marriage, she then moved to London and spent most of her life raising her children. It was here that her passion for art blossomed and she found her calling.
“Contrary to popular belief that a foreign artist in America will find it difficult to live, America is quite welcoming towards artists. There is space for every kind of art, sure tastes are different but finding a fit is all what an artist needs to do,” she explains.
Her other collections have included ‘Surface Chants’, which dealt with the transformation of different cultures over time. And, ‘Smoke’ which dealt with the Tibetan protest and the self-immolations.
The idea behind her present collection is her attempt to show the goddess culture in India and the precarious situation of women in the country. The aim she says is to show that vanity is not necessarily superficial or bad. Central to Sacred Vanity is the idea that adornment is holy and is beautiful.
Her major influence has been religion and justifiably so. “I have always used religious motifs in my paintings. The challenges of religion and culture are vast. My art is not specific to history or a region. It is more about cultures imposing themselves on each other. The strong colour and decorative motifs have always played an important role in my works. I feel that both these are an integral part of being Indian.”
Rasika’s preferred medium of painting is mixed media as it is versatile and allows her expression. On asking if there were a favourite collection and she replies with a twinkle in her eye, “Each of my series has intensity and each of it is part of me.” A self which is motivated and inspired by anything beautiful and unlike most other professionals, she looks forward to deadlines. It is what keeps her ticking.
However, what most people don’t know about Rasika is that apart from art, her interests also veer towards philanthropy, which has been part of her artistic career since the beginning. The proceeds from the sale of all her exhibitions is sent to a cause that she wishes to support. “It’s my way of doing something for society,” she says with a smile.
On a parting note she says, “For anyone aspiring to enter the creative field and especially art, all one needs to remember is that one is in for a long haul. Artists are the voices of society and you must keep this voice alive by using this space to the fullest.”
Category: Art & Design
About the Author (Author Profile)
Am a dreamer, writer and traveller. Still trying to find my niche but what counts is being able to give wings to my imagination.