Pune-based artist Revati Gangal feels pained when she has to make people understand what an artist actually does. “And how aren’t we desirous of the material needs of life. Art education taught me to believe in myself. It opened up an entire chapter in my life that can never be erased. Art taught me the true meaning of life and existence. Although to survive as a full-time artist is not a cakewalk. With flood of good artists around, it is difficult to make a mark. And most importantly, buying art is not a necessity. Hence, artists surviving on it have to bear the effects of time and tides,” says Revathi whose solo show, Interwoven Odysseys: An Inquisitive Search Of The Visual Form, takes off at Mumbai’s Nehru Art Centre on May 7 for a week.
Hailing from a stereotypical middle-class family whose “primary concerns have always been bread and butter”, Revati says it was never easy to rise above it and firmly stand for her. The 37-year-old artist first felt the urge to express herself through art was when she was in college. “It was then that I understood the true meaning of art as an expression which is beyond the stereotypical good drawings and paintings that are appreciated,” she says.
www.lifeandmore.in had a chat with the artist…
Your exhibition, Interwoven Odysseys: An Inquisitive Search Of The Visual Form, is all about…
It is a story about three women and their journeys. As much as I found myself in this process, I wish the viewers can enjoy some slice of their memories through watching them.
Which form of painting are you most comfortable doing and why?
I enjoy doing figurative work as representational art form is the best suited to my personality. Freedom within boundaries helps me know the exact source of emotion. Also any kind of viewer can try to interpret its expression according to his own story.
One unique thing about you and your art.
We are inseparable and interdependent on each other for the expression. My art is a sincere byproduct of my own journey and hence it will be different from others.
One word that best describes your style.
The biggest challenge you face professionally.
Getting a good platform to exhibit works.
Best thing about being an artist…
It’s never feels like work. Every day brings in new joy of creation. It’s euphoric.
Do you dream about your artwork while you are working on it?
Yes, all the time.
What time of the day do you like to paint?
I usually paint only in day light, as it’s the most productive time and gives the best judgment of colours. I sketch or write about my work at times during the night.
Where in the world do you get genuine art connoisseurs; people who understand art?
An art connoisseur can be your next door neighbour or someone in a faraway country whom you have never met. It depends on how does the art; artist and viewer connect on the same wavelength.
Who has been the most inspirational person in your life and why?
My husband. He made me realise that art is not only an expression but an experience of lifetime that should be enjoyed in each and every form that is possible.
Who influenced you and what was the motivation behind painting?
My journey of self-exploration has both influenced and motivated me all the time to paint. Life is an amazing lesson with ups and downs which drives me to paint.
How do you select colours?
According to the mood and concept of that particular work.
Is any colour related with a particular emotion?
For me, blues and greens are the best colours with which I can express a variety of emotions.
What is Revati Gangal doing when she is not in front of a canvas?
I perform my role as a wife and a mother with utmost dedication. Spending quality time with my family by being an active member in the growth and evolution of my daughter are always my areas of focus. Besides this, I watch movies; try to keep myself fit and travel to understand new geographies and cultures.
Your favourite artist/ painter today?
Dhruvi Acharya. I love the way she has given a visual form to her own self. Her paintings also depict her story of life like mine. But most importantly, the melancholy and concerns in her paintings touch my heart very deeply. And yet they rise above to give an excellent artistic experience.
Your opinion of the increasing number of art fairs being organised across the country. Would these help artists reach out to the masses?
I feel the experience of being one with the art of one particular artist can only be experienced in an art gallery or an art fair which has lots of breathing space. Otherwise there is no difference between a shopping mall and an art exhibition.
What was the reaction back home when you told everyone that you wanted to be an artist?
They were not very sure about how will I enjoy the basic luxuries of life if I choose this profession. But I was determined to choose my passion over materialistic needs. People still advise me as to how art should be made to generate money.
Anything you would want to share with the readers…
The basic instinct of any artist is to express. And expression should be free, spontaneous, inquisitive and experimental. However when both the artist and viewer start thinking beyond these factors, the purity is lost.