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Kitsch Kitsch Hota Hai

Have you ever felt so inspired by someone or something, you were ready to let go of everything else for it? Have you ever expressed and channeled your emotions through a medium, a subject? For me, that medium has been art. Art that lets you splash your anger, your curiosity, your happiness, on a blank canvas… Art that doesn’t judge you, but reflects your emotions.

Art imitates life, and life imitates art.

I have been inspired by a lot of artists; from Banksy and Dali to Da Vinci and Michelangelo; but, somehow, there was never an artist who really hit home.

This year though, I learnt about two artists who reached closer to home than I would expect – a Mumbai based power couple – Anju and Atul Dodiya, who are connected by their passion and sheer love for art, but distinctly set apart by their ideas, inspirations, styles and stories.

While Anju Dodiya has discovered via her art and her inspirations how to be braver and found an expressive way to portray her life’s experiences, Atul’s inspirations have taught him that art in this world is too vast and too tempting not to experiment with, to utilize as a tool to find out miscellaneous ways to explicate one’s stories and struggles. Anju uses water based colors as her medium in her free-flowing, somber and meaningful paintings but, in Atul’s case, his only signature style is not to have one.

Anju began her journey to pursue fine arts in the J.J. School of Fine Arts, has been in constant conflict with the subject. She has always struggled with putting forward her ideas in the most innovative and expressive way possible. Copious amounts of her paintings are self-portraits depicting her in her room or studio trying to think and find the best and most interesting way to pour out her intuitive emotions on canvas.

Winning the struggle against the skin disease Leukoderma intensified her passion to express. Out of the womb of her struggles, battles and inner conflicts were born her art, her style and her ideas. Her paintings titled ‘Rain’, ‘the Portrait Artist’ and numerous others showcase on a large canvas the tussle and war that rages on in artist’s mind before painting.

On the other hand, Atul Dodiya’s story begins with that of another artist, who was the sole inspiration that changed his artistic outlook and journey.

Philip Guston was a famous and extremely talented artist of the 20th Century. He was renowned for his abstract brilliance and was a huge artistic influence on numerous artists.

One day amidst the fame and love he received for his art, he decided to risk it all, and began to try figure drawings and realistic art which was worlds apart from his style. This man was ready to lose his fame, his signature style and his respect to tread on an unknown journey and discover different forms of expression.

In Atul’s heart and mind this resonated and struck a chord which altered the beat and rhythm of his style, made Philip Guston his artistic hero, much like he became mine.

Atul was now inspired by Matisse, Picasso, Sunil Patwardhan, etc. who never ceased to try out new ideas and styles. He tried out photography, painted with watercolours and oil paints and found new ways of creating, of expressing. His works, like ‘Shutters between us’ – a series of meaningful yet subtle paintings done on shutters of shops across Mumbai – challenge what we consider ‘art’ and not only comfort the disturbed but also disturb the comfortable.

As one reads through summaries of such artistic journeys, one notices and understands how two people can be artistically disconnected, yet emotionally attached. This can inspire an aspiring artist like me to paint and paint and pour my heart out, till no blank space is seen through the kaleidoscope of my emotions and until the voice in my head telling me I’m not an artist is permanently silenced.

-Aarushi Zarthoshtimanesh 11A

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