|The change from abstract to expressionism actually happened overnight for me. I just felt that I had exhausted all the floral scenes, the lilac in the wind, the creation of earth, the meadow-grass feel. I wanted something entirely different. I think it’s fair to say I then did what any young artist would do. I started drawing massively from different artists and their work, especially Jackson Pollock.
In hindsight, it was nothing more than major plagiarism in Pollock’s case. I closely followed his work and read about the household palettes that he was using. That was actually a little bit of a relief for me because I was using extremely expensive acrylic colours at the time. Pollock made me realise that great effects could be achieved using common, garden-art or dare I say, DIY pastes.
But then, expressionism certainly was more than Pollock for me. I wanted to do exactly what the name suggested : express myself. Studying Pollock I’d say, just added an edge to it. I had the opportunity to visit the Peggy Guggenheim museum in Venice and the picture of all pictures, ‘Alchemy’ was there on the wall.
Most people would say it’s just a bowl of liquid splashed onto a surface. But to the right eye, it is exactly what it says on the label. It is magical in terms of its unbelievable consistencies. Although it is covered under glass, you can go right up to it and see the detail. And to think this man was using household colours! He was using the entire spectrum of textures.
You can see the depth in ‘ Alchemy’ only when you get up close in person. You can’t visualise the depth of it through pictures. And that is why I excelled in expressionism, if that’s right to say. If you ever get close to my pieces, you’ll notice that they are as tactile as they are abstract. You can actually sense the feeling in the paint that I’m applying by seeing the layers.
That is what expressionism is to me, just different styles and different artists, and I want to continue to experiment in the area. As far as the colours are concerned, if I’m given a free reign while doing expressionist work, I choose to work with almost every perceivable colour and work out different variations.
The early work has primitive colours – the yellows, the whites and the blues, whereas some of my more recent work, not quite. A friend of mine who really likes ‘The Joker’, has restricted me to mustard green, purple and red. The colour schemes on occasion, which is about 50% of all my commissions, come from people who already have a stern idea about the kind of palette they are looking for. What’s shocking is that sometimes I look at the paints when they’re in the box and I feel like it’ll be appalling and yet, the pieces turn out absolutely magical.
For my last corporate call, I was asked to paint with, believe it or not, two greys and green. Had someone told me a little while ago to paint on a canvas with two greys and a green, I would’ve laughed at them. And yet, these corporate calls turn out absolutely magnificent.