“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary” – Pablo Picasso
In one of my recent events that happened in the capital, I came across some astonishing and different pieces of Art-work. Nowadays, art is something that one often comes across, but what was astonishing in this art-piece? The expression, emotion and the way it has been put up on canvas by the young, cheerful artist Jyotika Chhabra, makes the art exclusive and intriguing. So, I caught Jyotika in an exclusive conversation to know more about her work, and her understanding of art-
Me: How was the journey from marketing field to the field of art?
Jyotika:Having graduated in the field of marketing from the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, my escape began when the glory of my dreams gave me power and fueled my desires to pursue my passion, and express myself on canvas. I don’t have a formal training or degree from any art school, and the fact that I am a self-taught artist, motivates me to experiment more and learn from my surroundings.
When I want to put together a concept I just dare to dream. Also, my management and marketing degree comes in handy in this regard and strategically, I have more ways to reach a wider audience on my own and market my art on an individual level without depending on external sources.
Me: What does Escapism Art mean?
Jyotika:Escapism is an inward quest to find our inner peace and strength. It’s about accomplishing our vicarious dreams and desires by escaping the hustle- bustle of our lives. Every time I create a piece of art, I make an attempt to break away from the vicious circle of life. I aim at projecting dreams that have been unaccomplished or retained inside. And that is the prime reason I call it Escapism Art.
Me: Can you explain in detail your next project, ‘Escapism and the city’?
Jyotika:My paintings are going to be based on bold contemporary issues of the city life. In my collection, “Escapism and the city”, I will be using abstract structures put together with objects from the city life, along with images and mirrors. Flying at the speed of light to be a part of the rat race, we often leave behind things that are unsaid or undone. But unconsciously we retain those desires.
We often find ourselves indulging in a state of dreamy meditation or fanciful musing during the busiest hours of the day. And obtaining such vicarious pleasures during the working hours is called “Daydreaming”. When we hit reverie, we acquire the power to bridge the two worlds inside us and are blessed to bring heavens on earth. Exploring the heat inside us and understanding the appetite of our mind can lead to unexplored avenues. The intention is to bring together the colors of the two worlds and create magic on canvas.
Me: What was your parent’s reaction when you chose this path?
Jyotika:Switching careers wasn’t something which was conveniently accepted by my family. I come from a family with traditional values, and the idea of being an artist was a little absurd to my parents. They appreciated my talent but never encouraged it. But as time passed by, they realized that my passion brought me much happiness.
Me: What has been your best experience and worst experience (if any)?
Jyotika: I do get criticized a lot for not following the traditional path of confining myself with art galleries, but in my opinion that’s what makes me different. (With a smile) I have always received an overwhelming response from the audience that have witnessed my works at events where they did not expect to see art.
Me: What sort of audience you cater to?
Jyotika:My Aim is to spread awareness about art amongst youth. I feel that the youth, in this country, have very little knowledge of art and its reach is confined to a certain audience that monopolises its market. I know youth mostly indulge into spending their money into bare essentials, parties and brands, but the idea is to bring their attention and interest in the field of art by use of bold colours and relatable concepts. Hence, I mostly display my art works at fashion shows, trunk shows,clubs and markets etc. to reach to the heart of youth.
• Art and Fashion Melange by Jyotika Chhabra and Mayyur Girotra at Fio Garden
• Art Works display at the Wills India Fashion Week at Pragati maidan
• Lalit Kala Acadamy- Group art show
• Sree Art Gallery- Group Art Show
• Group Art shows at Alliance Francaise with Sree Art Gallery.
• Art Display at Zorbha the Buddha- with the Delhi drums circle
• Art Show at Hyatt Regency – Runway Rising with Ramola Bachchan
• Art Shows by IILM Institutes
• Lexicon Art Show at Moments Mall
• Art display at Hotel Samrat- Visa Fiesta
• Art Display at Hotel Lalit- Blingg Bazaar
• Art Display at Hotel Eros- S&S Show
Me: Who is your inspiration?
Jyotika:I derive my inspiration from the beauty of feelings and emotions that are suppressed within. In my art collections, I make an attempt to project the supernova created in the state of reverie. It’s hard to live in solitude, but when I am working on canvas with colours I break away from routine to achieve peace and calm within.
Me: Who is Jyotika Chhabra as a person?
Jyotika: Deep down, Jyotika has always been an artist.
In a positive way, I’d like to term myself as an astute subversive artist. My ways have usually been a little out-of-the-box. The Idea of contacting art galleries for selling my art was always a bit clichéd for me. I wanted to spread awareness and sell my art in a non-traditional manner. Hence, I made a mark by launching my first art collection with a fashion designer, where models walked around my paintings on the Ramp, in his latest collection. This was called the Art and Fashion Melange.
Me: What is the common message that your work carries?
Jyotika:The common message that my work carries is, liberation and freedom from the rigidness of life, and acknowledging the true uninfluenced desires. To escape from the self-created barriers, dogmas and customs that recur persistently to the conscious mind and bar us from living a free life.
What does success means to you?
I personally feel that being able to send across the true intention to the audience is the biggest achievement an artist can accomplish. If the feelings are transferred in the same form, the mission of an artist is accomplished. So for me,building awareness on the concept of escapism is my claim to fame.
What do you think is important, to be an artist?
Expression is important. It’s essential to choose a medium to express feelings and lighten ourselves from the burden of accumulated emotion for a happier life.
What is special about your art-work?
I personally feel that the use of bold and fiery colours, Heavy textures, and my skill of painting with hand and fingers is my specialty. I try to include the contemporary elements from day to day life and make my art look vivacious. Invigorated by its sheer energy, I create my art using techniques such as “action painting and photo realism”. Fraught with energy, these techniques enable us to vent emotions accumulated inside us. Although, certain abstract pieces hold no articulate meaning, but during this creative process, the violent use of colours form an automatic painting as a mirror of subconscious mind and helps in improving mental health and well-being. This process is carried in an artistic frenzy to unleash the reservoir of emotions and combat the tension, passion and drama bottled in our minds.
In my latest collection, “Aodh – The Fire Within”, I have made an attempt to beautify these emotions by embellishing them with stones and crystals. The fiery emotions are enhanced by the brilliance of gems.
In the structured paintings, I have used women as a metaphor to represent emotions because a woman is like a flame providing warmth and beauty. She appears to be just a girl, but underneath she is a goddess of fire who holds the power to burn.
What is your ultimate aim/goal?
My Ultimate goal is to promote my art at the grass root level amongst youth in this country and universalize the concept of Escapism Art. I feel a reform needs to be brought, in which stagnancy in the perception towards art needs to be changed.
Jyotika Chhabra is a 28 years old Delhi-based artist. Since childhood, she has been actively involved in painting. Her art inspiration is mostly obtained from European and British galleries, since she has been there for her further studies. One can look at her pieces of art on her website: www.escapismart.com.
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