Talk about artistic articulation! We have Harish Varman with some really interesting insights. Check it out!

1. What is art to you?

To me, art is a form of therapy and I would call every artist as a therapist.

Tell me what makes you forget all your sorrows/ problems? What can take you to that blissful state? 

I think that the most common form of mental getaway for people is music, movies, books, or paintings. If we observe carefully, all of these falls under the category of art. While some people choose to watch a movie for a much-needed break, some might prefer to tune into their favorite genre of music. There are others who find comfort in a book, while few people would enjoy a walk around the museum.

I choose to paint to reach a state of tranquility and joy.

There is a significant amount of scientific evidence that claims art to be of a therapeutic nature. Indeed as an artist, I feel that I self-heal my soul when I pour myself on a fresh canvas. Believe me, you can confess anything to that empty canvas – it isn’t judgmental.

2. What has been a seminal experience?

I am someone who draws inspiration from everyday life. Let me talk about a recent experience – a Solo exhibit of my works, at a famous art carnival. 

Since this was my first interaction with a wider audience, I decided to create a live painting. I was a bit serious and also a little skeptical about my quest to paint amidst the bustling crowd. There were many art stalls around me and there was high energy around. I wanted to capture everything I could see in front of me, right from the stalls, and its owners to the crowd. I was determined to freeze every object on the canvas before it moved past my viewing eye-frame. 

While I was caught up in trying to sketch and paint everything, I heard a little voice behind me – ‘Can I paint’? I turned back to see a cute kid with his big enthusiastic eyes beaming with a smile. Immediately I agreed and from that moment I let the painting be shaped by him. Soon, a big queue lined up, with many parents wanting their children also to paint. I must admit that I outsourced that artwork to those little artists who had great fun splashing colors on the canvas.

The painting turned out so well and many stall owners stopped by to take a look at the artwork. They were all so happy to see themselves being portrayed. 

This was such a breathtaking moment and it taught me that art is something to be enjoyed and to be made with all the love and joy. Since then, I never try too hard to focus on my end result. Instead, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and the process while creating my artwork – just like those lovely kids. 

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. – Pablo Picasso

3. Which of your work you most identify with? Why?

I have been sketching and painting all my life and have tried my hands on many forms of it – like digital art, acrylic/oil on canvas, sand art, food art, etc. Lately, I have been focusing mainly on oil paintings. I believe that it is the most powerful medium to bring out the desired richness and can delight one’s naked eye. I have produced close to twenty such oil paintings so far and I am still counting. There is one particular painting which I feel is a closer representation of myself. But before we get there, let me give you a perspective of who I think I am.

I believe that I am a creative person with paradoxical traits, alternating between a carefree childlike behavior (when I sing gibberish songs and dance like nobody is watching) to a mature man with deep philosophical thoughts. In short, I tend to be simple as well as complex.

In 2018, I produced an artwork titled ‘’Rabbit In Its Dream” – a fictitious painting of a rabbit trying to express its love to another rabbit, in its dream. Through this painting, I tried to capture the complex elements of the brain & dream as well as the pure joy of a rabbit expressing its cute little heart. The painting also depicts several other emotions depicted as weird patterns, with dark & unclear surroundings and little footmarks of rabbits. 

This artwork is currently on display at the CAM Museum, Naples, Italy.

4. What is an artistic outlook on life?

Life is a total bliss as long as we approach it every day as a child would. That’s my take and outlook towards life. Amidst all hardships and cruel times, we should never forget that each one of us has fought like a warrior to come out of our mother’s womb, we have all fought hard and succeeded in taking our first step. Always remember that a child might fail several times, yet it never fails to try again. Pain is not to be thought of as an obstacle rather it has to be viewed as a path to success. Be pure like the child you were and lead this life effortlessly. That’s the key! 

Treat your life as a canvas, make it colorful through your experiences and memories. Most importantly don’t forget to have fun and fill the journey with lots of love and joy! Make your life a masterpiece and strive to be remembered forever.

5. Your most creative work with an explanation.

In 2019, I created an oil painting titled “She Is A Dragon”. I would say that this my most creative artwork so far. 

Through this art, I have tried to narrate a short story which would alter the viewer’s experience when viewed from different angles. I feel that many artists approach the subject of a woman through her beauty and symbolize her as a delicate creature. I wanted to break that stereotype in my painting.

If you take a closer look at the art, you would be able to see the silhouette of a dragon. The dragon is gazing at its reflection in the water and is puzzled to see the image of a woman mirroring back. That’s how I have always thought a woman is – fiery and feisty.

No man would have seen so much sacrifice in his life, as a woman does. Like a dragon breathing fire, a woman breathes courage and strength into our lives, through everything that she battles and conquers. She is more than just physical beauty.

Now if you turn the painting 180 degrees, you would be able to see an unstoppable woman on the run. She is a force. She is a Dragon.

Dedicating this artwork to all the strong women in my life.

Harish Varman’s Website

Harish Varman
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