Sounds simple enough? It couldn’t be more complicated.
I seek to express myself in everything I do as honestly as I can. To myself. I know where I take a short cut and I know where I labour over a detail because it has to be just right. It would be more accurate to say… I am a temperamental artist. I paint in many mediums and on many supports. But I also create in many ways and through many ways. Where ideas take form and fructify into something that is a joy to behold – for me. Sometimes it’s about the end goal. I know what that image will be and I am driven to create it just so. And then there are times when I don’t know the end goal and it becomes all about the means – the journey itself.
I paint, I sing, I quilt, I cook, I sew, I write. I love. I am all of that and more… and then some.
Come join me in my journey. It won’t be easy. I will drive you crazy at times and at others I will be mild and placid like the still waters on a calm lake. Don’t rile me, don’t push me, don’t cajole me, don’t distract me, don’t upset the balance. Join me as an observer, join me as a partner, join me as an equal but be prepared to take me on. I won’t be silent. I may scream, I may mark you, I may even wound you. But I promise to tend to those marks and wounds with more tenderness than you can imagine.
I told you I am a temperamental artist.
Aarohi Singh has never seen things in black and white. Perhaps it is because of her education – she got a Masters in History, and history has more shades of grey than perhaps any other subject. Or perhaps it is because of her upbringing as an Air Force Officer’s daughter, which exposed her to the varied and cosmopolitan hues of life in the armed forces. Or maybe it is just the fact that she has never had her unique vision and aesthetic manipulated by a formal education in art.
Whatever the reasons, when Aarohi puts brush to canvas, it explodes into colours as vibrant as her personality and as bold as her thoughts – resplendent vermilion sings a duet with parrot green, ripe-mango yellow dances a tha-ri-ki-ta with monsoon-sky purple, peacock blue unabashedly couples with mithai pink. To anyone who has seen her work, it is clear that what informs, influences, and inspires her work is, literally, all around her – her country India.
Like India, Aarohi’s work defies and resists pigeonholing. She does not limit herself to any one kind of canvas – apart from paper and fabric, she has painted on walls, lamps, kettles, furniture and automobiles. Neither does she prefer one kind of medium over another, expressing herself as felicitously in watercolours as she does in oils, pastels, pen and ink, papier mache, and mixed media. Her themes are as varied as her interests – landscapes, portraits, nazar-battoos, Hindu gods, Bollywood, the Kama Sutra, and once, even a T-Rex! – on a customised piece of furniture for an eight-year-old. And while she usually likes to work with vivid colour, she has her quiet phases too – times when only the mildest colour-washes are brought in, to highlight certain elements of an otherwise pristine sketch.
Aarohi’s creativity, however, is not limited to canvas alone. She paints in Oil, Acrylics, Watercolor, Pastels and works on Paper, Canvas, Metal, Cardboard, Wood, Fabric. Unlike a lot of artists who prefer to work in one maybe two mediums, Aarohi paints on almost anything. She is also a skilled seamstress who has been known to design her own and her friends’ clothes/ bags and accessories, a natural interior designer who has lent her talent to spaces such as Bacchus and Nxtlyf, and an instinctive and passionate cook who can never make a dish the same way twice. In her more reflective and philosophical moments, this mom of two writes poetry.
There are artists and there are artists, and then there are thinking artists, and Aarohi very clearly belongs in the last category. Very seldom does she create art for art’s sake – her art usually expresses a strong idea or carries an underlying message, and is often a response to what is happening in the world around her. Her Gandhi vs Gandhian kettle, for instance, which featured Anna Hazare and Sonia Gandhi, was chosen as Bangalore’s artistic contribution to the fight against corruption, and was presented to Mr. Hazare himself.
This is also the reason why so much of her art is customised to the client. Says Aarohi, “I want my art to be much more than a thing of beauty. Every piece should speak to those who see it, and mean something very personal and special to those who own it.”
Art, for an artist is living their lives through their art. Aarohi lives her thoughts, her expressions, the images that have stayed with her through the years on to her canvas. With her first exhibition at Triveni Kala Sangam in 1994, her talent found instant success and patrons. Aarohi has been selling her work continuously and directly to clients. Her foremost patron has over 15 of her works of fine art.
No matter what the medium, Aarohi prefers to paint people, in their myriad moods and colours. Witness Aarohi in a different mood. An almost manic need to paint colourful images crowding their chance to be realized.
Welcome to Aarohi’s world of art !