My Art is a response to certain cognitive and visual stimulus. I am moved by people, animals, and other organic shapes in nature. My creative process involves my passion for anatomy and my curiosity in Pareidolia, a psychological phenomenon in which the mind responds to a stimulus, usually an image or a sound, by perceiving a familiar pattern where none exists. For example, shapes in the clouds or patterns in the sand. My sense of aesthetics is concerned with celebrating the human body. I like to draw the lyrical beauty of the athletic human body, both male and female, as dancers, gymnasts, doing Yoga, and athletics. When I draw a graceful human body to perfection, it looks alluring and satisfies me as a draftsman, but it doesn’t captivate the artist within me. I am left wanting for more and I want to take away the academic ‘posed’ look from it. So, I formulated a process which helps me break free from a ‘contrived’ pose by adding the element of surprise - by melting and bending the figures in a way that is unplanned and beyond the order of anatomy but still retains the grace and movement of life forms. What I achieve through this process is a spontaneous organic distortion to my figurative drawings, turning them into stylized and unique visuals. I combine my love for Pareidolia and my passion for gestural figure drawing through an engaging process. My favorite medium is Acrylics, followed by Charcoal. A blank canvas is very uninspiring and fails to stimulate me, so I create my own stimulus. I begin by killing the dead white canvas. For this, I would throw a very diluted acrylic paint on the wet canvas and let it spread and dry like a giant inkblot. Now, the canvas is ready for Pareidolia, stimulating my imagination. Soon, I would recognize the hidden gestural figure or figures. Often, I am able to see more than one concealed figure even if it involves rotating the canvas and viewing it from different angles. I choose the shape that beckons me most strongly to unveil it. Then I start with powerful brush strokes to reveal the hidden form. The third stage involves a few careful strokes or lines with paint or pastels to accentuate details that would enable viewers to enjoy the figures part melting into their origin and part standing out. These visuals sometimes inspire a story to be told through them as I am reminded of things, persons, ideologies, myths and incidents and I use various forms as symbols to tell these stories. My process involves inspiration from a by-chance factor and an arbitrary response through skill and imagination. This gives me an opportunity to discover visual motifs by diving into my psychological world that stores my Asian roots but also a global perspective of art, philosophy, myth, stories and life in general, and sometimes things that I can neither understand nor explain. Every dive into this Pareidolia is full of surprise, mystery and gratification.
Working primarily in acrylic and charcoal, Raman will be hosting a demonstration at Art on the Rocks | Some Like It Hot, Friday, February 22nd. A preview to the artist at work!
Culminating in a public exhibition for First Friday on October 4th, Raman's series "Pareidolia in Hues - Stimulus and Response", will seek to "invite guests to observe and partake in the artist's Pareidolia process, as well as inspire them to create pieces of their own ."
For more information on Raman Bhardwaj and to keep up with his work, visit http://artistraman.com/about/