Thursday, January 5, 2017

Artist of the month: Mona Biswarupa

Mona Biswarupa, a Dubai based artist who I accidently bumped into on Instagram, allured me with her fabulous artwork. Her artwork is striking and there is a celebratory mode in each of her work. And the colors she uses are radiant. Most her work centers on female figures and silhouettes dedicating to women’s beauty and grace. And my personal favorite is the Sufi Series… those pieces are just breathtaking!

Have a look at some of her best art work and let’s get to know more from Mona herself…



 
 






Artist Mona at work
 
A brief about yourself
A small town girl from Odisha, with a small dream of living a life doing what I love and to leave the world with something others would love.

My dream took me to various places through various professions. Fashion design, Textile design, Graphic design, Academics and finally art! I am an introvert with a big volcano of ideas bubbling inside. I tried various languages to express them but could not.. Art is the only medium that understands me. So I am here to devote the rest of my life …understanding it.

 
How did your journey as an artist begin?
       Just like my father, I wanted to be a poet. But I didn’t know how to write…

       As a three year old little girl, I saw something beautiful in the alphabets, in the words and sentences.  I admired the way lines formed different shapes and stopped at various lengths meaning different things.. The beauty of those alphabets, the rhythm and melody in those words inspired me to draw some lines on a paper..  I stole my dad’s inkbottle and mom’s ‘Aaltaa’ to draw poetry on paper. But they didn’t look anything like my dad wrote.. They looked more like things I saw around me. Trees, the sun, birds, sky and the moon..  Sitting in the middle of my courtyard I watched the clouds changing color… My household was bustling with musicians and artists. Poetry, dance, music and literature were as natural as breathing in that house. Sitting in the middle of its courtyard, I saw seasons changing…I don’t know when I grew up. I travelled various countries for higher education and work. Lot of inspirations I drew from various cultures and people.. But somewhere I felt I am leaving something very precious behind. There was a big void. A recent trip back home changed many things… It was a monsoon night and I sat with my mom, two sisters and father around his old wooden table reading and humming his poetry.. It felt as if the world has stopped rotating.. We sat till daybreak reading, talking, singing and breathing poetry.. The simplicity in his words, the lyrical images that he had painted in those pages again stirred up my soul. With my husband’s support and encouragement I decided to quit my day job. I realized how far I was from my art, from my poetry.. ‘Art will not pay your bills!!’ Many well-wishers said many things as I walked out the corporate door.. But I smiled. That closed door opened a new door for me to a vast open sky. I wanted to write poetry in that big blue sky with my brush.

       The artist was always inside me.. Just that I never gave it a chance to talk.  Recently I stopped doing everything I was doing to listen to its muffled voice from deep within. I quit my 20 years old fashion career to give a voice to that artist. My journey has just begun and I am ready to go wherever the roads take me...  

 

Did you have any formal training or is it self taught?
For many years I kept painting without any guidance.  At the age of 13 I was fortunate to get the encouragement from my Guru, who spotted my talent and offered to guide me. For about six years I spent understanding free hand sketching and one of the most beautiful medium in painting, ‘watercolor’. I learnt a lot about life through those paintings. When water and color mix together, there is not much that you can do, the painting paints itself, and you are just a medium. I learnt to let go when a painting is beyond repair; I learnt to start allover again. I noticed, when I was painting, I felt an unique sense of nothingness at the same time a strange sense of being complete.. I realized, I needed to be in a creative profession. Got through the most prestigious fashion institute in India. I had some of the most wonderful teachers in the world who honed my artistic skills further. Many eminent artists visited as guest lectures to the institute sharing their knowledge and wisdom with us. . Learning for me has been an ongoing process. I learn each day. Till now I keep attending workshops in various institutes and art hubs to acquire new skills in different medium. And of course in today’s world of technology, learning is just a click away.


 
 How would you describe your art style?
 Not everything could be described, not everything could be defined… that’s why there is art !

My art is like a wild brook at the moment. . There is a long journey waiting ahead .I don’t want to direct it anywhere. The only thing I want to do is let it flow. I just want to paint, draw, scribble, spill, smudge and overwrite. . I myself am curious to know what my style would be in 5 years from now

If you talk ‘technically’ about my art, yes it is contemporary and probably would border Neo–Realism. Visually I would call it an act of balancing perfect and imperfect, reality and fantasy, chaos and control, expected and unexpected.

 
What's your inspiration for your art work?

Nature, both around and within, inspires my work. Amalgamations of these two forces reflect in my art. At times rhythmic and sublime, and yet another time a fiery duel.  The interaction between these two forces forms the vibrancy of colors, strokes and texture in my work. My roots, my culture, Poetry, music, my heritage, the tribal influence, my memories, my travels, my friends, the strangers I came across on the unknown streets ,the faces that I could never forget, the everyday mundane.. I see an inspiration in everything!!
 

What is the most challenging aspect about your work?
Since childhood I have had a special affinity towards Japanese culture and arts. There is a constant duel inside me between my love for the Indian Opulence as well as the Japanese minimalism. Though femininity has always been a common factor in my works, I am still searching for that middle ground where both my sensibilities are at peace with each other.

 
What is your creative process like? And what keeps you motivated?
Solitude inspires me. I am pretty happy with a cup of tea and my art materials. At times I keep staring at a blank sheet or canvas. Figures and forms as if appear and disappear on it inviting me to pin them onto it. Many times my hand just follows those silhouettes. Some other time while reading, listening to music or being in the middle of nature, some ideas come to my mind. At that time I get so impatient to give shape to that idea that few times I have ended up painting it on the back side of and in few cases on top of another painting. J  

 
Do you commission different projects?
Yes I do. Some of my best works are small in size. Many times I get requests for recreating similar ones on a bigger scale. For commissions I prefer the brief to be open-ended. Very strict guidelines and brief from the buyer restricts my imagination and takes the whole fun out of the creative process. 

 
What is your favorite art piece that you have done till date?
I have many pieces that are very dear to me. Some of them are with me and some are in their new homes. But I don’t know why, ‘Elephant in the Indian Monsoon'. A small piece of work in Ink and pen on Aquarelle paper remains very close to my heart. Each time I look at it, it fills me up with joy. Happy, carefree, in its own world… imperfect yet unique.

 
 

Thank you Mona for inspiring me and my readers with you art journey and your fabulous work!!! You have definitely inspired me to pick up my paintbrush again!! Keep it going and I hope to see your work in person.
 
 

If you wish to get in touch with Mona please write to

And click here to follow her on Instagram and here on Facebook.
 
All images are copyright Mona Biswarupa
 





1 comment:

Melissa Ortega said...

Wow, I love these. Especially the first few portraits, they're captivating. Thank you!