check her out! Tara Gupta is an up and coming visual artist with a seriously authentic vision of her final product as well as it’s ultimate goal and her purpose in creating. she’s our artist of the week, and she wrote some pretty personal and inspiring things in her interview for ‘The Catalyst.’ read up!
1. What is your prefered medium of art?
The identity of a piece is largely formed by its medium, so for me, the medium I choose often varies depending on what I am trying to convey. Recently, I’ve been producing a lot of Mixed Media works. I usually start out with a more common medium for art, such as paint, ink, or graphite. But when I add new layers, I find my work evolves into a combination of mediums, becoming a wild experiment.
2. Who are you biggest influences, biggest role models?
Currently, these are the artists who both interest and inspire me:
William Kentridge – Known for his prints, drawings, and unique form of Animation
Don Hertzfeldt – Animator: my favorite works of his are “Everything will Be OK” and “The Meaning of Life”
Roger Ballen – photographer and filmmaker: his Asylum series and collaboration with Die Antwoord in “I Fink U Freeky” is very interesting
Mike Kelley – installation artist and musician
Jean-Michel Basquiat – painter and iconic graffiti artist
3. Describe your creative process start to finish.
I am often impatient with my work, wanting to translate the ideas and emotions coursing through me as quickly as I can. When I first produce a piece, it is bare, the most blatant portrayal of an idea. But with each visitation, my work changes. I add new layers that express fresh perspectives, using my impatience as a tool, and the piece often takes on a secondary meaning.
4. How were you introduced to your art form?
I’ve been drawing since I was little, longer than I can remember. As far as I know, I was inspired to start drawing when my sister showing me some of her own gorgeous etchings (which I later found out were tracings). It wasn’t a conscious effort to be a part of something greater than me at that point, just an activity that made me happy. And in spite of the scoldings I got after drawing on the walls and painting on the carpets, I’m here today, still experimenting with materials and trying out different forms of visual art.
5. Were you encouraged to pursue art at home or in school?
I attended a Science and Technology high school, so it was a struggle to keep abreast of other artists my age because I spent most of my time working on these subjects. However, I kept myself involved in the art world by attending an out-of school class. The studio I went to mostly focused on techniques, so I gained most of my insight about creativity through other channels: my art teacher at school, a pre-college program at RISD, extracurricular activities.
6. What style/genre would you call your work?
Many of my pieces have a Samo graffiti style, like the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
7. Why do you create, for what purpose?
My goal in creating art is to have a social impact. Art provides creative solutions to approaching difficult topics, bringing hidden issues to attention. For example, whether or not someone is interested in a subject like gender equality, perhaps if they think it doesn’t concern them, they can often be inspired by the pathos art exacts. Human rights, gender equality, racism: these are the subjects I comment on through my work. Art, a universal medium, allows me to share my academic views on these subjects with a broader audience, and encourage self-examination.
8. What inspires you? What inspired these particular pieces?
I’m mostly inspired by topics that reveal flaws in human behavior. This includes reasons for which people are ostracized, the psychological workings of the human mind, and social issues like racism and gender inequality. Sistine Chapel was an effort to capture the essence of life, portraying both humans and our god as degraded and flimsy.
9. Who was your first teacher?
Isaac Lange, a RISD graduate and quirky but inspiring teacher at J-art Studios was the first art instructor to have an impact on my work.
10. What is the best advice you ever received? Or the best compliment?
Art is about concept, not beauty. But concept can’t show through without successful execution.
11. What are some of your most major accomplishments in terms of your artistic career and development?
I’m still a budding artist, and don’t have too lengthy a track record yet, but I have had some experience as an editorial cartoonist, winning national awards for my work. I’ve also been commissioned to design a couple things — an album cover, a logo for the Ireana Foundation, a charitable education non-profit, and a couple tshirts.
If anyone wants to commission work or buy finished pieces, please contact Tara via her website!
Other places to view my work: