Art, // November 17, 2021
Devayani Thakre — ARTIST
Interview with artist Devayani Thakre —
1. Who are you and what do you do ?
My name is Devayani Thakre and I am born and brought up in India. I am a self-taught artist and colours have always been my channel to the world around me to my world. I create paintings based on the feeling, emotions and aura I feel from the objects, people and incidences. It has a combination of Expressionism, Figurism and Surrealistic elements.
2. Why Art ?
Grown up in a very conservative background where art is restricted to impress others, it took me much time to explore myself. I was good at painting and people around me realized this but I was always sculpted to paint the liking of others, to paint that was considered socially acceptable in a not so open thinking surroundings. That’s where I felt emptiness despite of being good at painting. Creating my paintings in my way helped me fill that emptiness and gave me extraordinary joy of expressing. So, Art for me, is an emotion that flows directly from my subconscious onto my canvas.
3.What is your earliest memory of wanting to be an artist?
I remember I used to draw and doodle on every page of books when I was a child. I used to draw curves and lines anywhere be it paper, be it sand and I could see figures taking shape from it. As I entered my adolescence, I developed interest in human figures. I liked the curves of human body and started drawing some nude drawings which was not accepted by people around me. In a highly conservative atmosphere, a girl drawing nude figures was not considered a good thing and so I was restrained from making such kind of art. Since then I used to draw them hidden and destroy them myself so that no one sees it. I never thought I can be an artist till recently when I got a chance to interact with an explicit abstract artist Joao Marquese from Portugal who guided and helped me exploring my art and introducing me to the artist in me. From painting hidden to exhibiting my artwork in exhibitions and rediscovering the artist in me has been an interesting and roller-coaster journey indeed.
4. What is your favourite subject and media?
My favourite medium is acrylic and I love working with the flow of thoughts.
There is no specific predefined subject when I start to paint. It’s just that the canvas is calling me. I don’t select the colours, the colours select me. I don’t select the subject, it just flows spontaneously. I am in an absolute neutral state of mind and the colours speak to me in the same neutral feel. But yes, my art has an influence of the multiculturalism, the colourful landscapes of India, and a definite conflict between beliefs and freedom of thoughts.
5. How do you work and approach your subject?
Its like you are lost in yourself, the “You in You” holds your hand and Whoa…. You are automatically on a creative tour… its automatism that gives direction to my thoughts which I shape and reshape for more clarity. I many times need to work on two paintings simultaneously because the thoughts are very turbulent, variant and mixed up. Also, sometimes I go back to my own paintings and get propelled into the subject spontaneously. I can work continuously for hours together and finish the painting in the same sitting or sometimes I get stuck for weeks and suddenly one day the colours give me a call again and that day my painting is finished. It’s like some enlightenment, some magic.
6. What are your favourite art works, artists?
Many artists and artworks from various styles and eras have their own incomparable place in the art world and some of my favourites are Salvador Dali, Frida Kahlo, Vincent Van Gogh and Oskar Kokoschka.
7. What are the best response you have had to your work?
With components of figurism, expressionism and surrealism I have been getting a good number of wonderful responses from the audiences. “A mystery with familiar figures” is mostly what people perceive. Also, the responses like, “the more you see it more you explore it” are some of the feedbacks been received to my paintings
8. What is the best thing you like about your art?
The only thing I like about my art work is that it is a portal for me to travel in an absolutely different world. Its meditation to me. A point of absolute solace and happiness in the process of making the Painting.
9. What is your advice to other artist ?
As with my experience I would say its an immense need for artists to show and explore their art by coming out of the social conditioning that has restrained the artists inside them. Artists helping other artists in art development process. Not everyone gets easy access to formal art education but those who have had it should come ahead and be open to the emerging ones else many artists will be painting inside their caves for what time we never know. I was lucky to that I found a guide who helped me exploring my art. When an artist grows and discovers new horizons and his work is appreciated by art an arena that’s when the whole art community reaches new peak and society is influenced by the need of freedom of art in a person’s life.
10. Where do you see yourself in next 5 to 10 years?
I see myself in much better position to express myself. I see myself as a completely engrossed artist who still will be learning and exploring because I know “learning never stops and there is always something to explore”. I wish to enjoy more and more each passing year. I hope to have a professional presence amongst the huge art world with my deservance.
Olívia da Costa é o nosso correspondente de artes para a Arts Illustrated em Portugal.