Today, Lise one our designers introduces us to her weekly « creative crush » : Rithika Merchant, an Indian artist famous for her mystical paintings and various explorations of civilisations though installations. Her work extends to the fashion industry as she notably designed textiles and accessories for the emblematic brand « Chloé ».
To find out more about Rhikita’s work read the interview.
>>>>> Tell me who you are ?
I am 32 years old. I was born and raised in Bombay. I graduated with a BFA in Fine Art from Parson The New School For Design in New York. I currently divide my time as much as I can between Bombay and Barcelona.
>>>>> How did you become an artist ? And why did you choose this means of expression ?
I have been artistically inclined from a young age and my parents were always very supportive and encouraging of my need for artistic expression. Both my parents are Doctors and although neither of them are artist, Art was always a part of the discussion, they would take me to see art exhibitions in the city and really try to educate me and expose me to art. As a child I remember drawing and painting with my mother and always being encouraged to express myself creatively. I always knew I wanted to be an artist. It is not really something I can quantify in words, but there really is nothing else I want to do.
My art is a way for me to convey certain ideas and emotions – I am much better at expressing things visually than verbally. My work is everything to me. Art is something I have had with me as a companion since I was a child – it’s my catharsis, my relaxation, my way of making sense of the world. It’s my way of life and the thing I love to do most.
>>>>> What do your works represent ?
I have always been very interested in narratives, myths and received histories that are available to us. I am also interested in how these different fragments are “woven” together to from a complete image. Most cultures use imagery to tell stories and represent ideas. I try to use these ancient means of storytelling in a more contemporary context.
I would describe my style as semi surreal, intricately detailed, visual storytelling. Lots of desaturated colour, inspired by and in vein of old maps, and botanical drawings.
>>>>> Tell me some words about your Chloé works…
The prints I worked on for this collection are filled with lots of esoteric and spiritual symbols and botanical imagery.
>>>>> What is your favorite work and why ?
The works from my “Voyager” series. The mass displacement of people, forced migration, and the dislocation and exile of many groups of people all over the world are very troubling to me. Living in Barcelona I have felt very helpless watching the European refugee crisis unfold right on my doorstep. My most recent show in India titled “Where The Water Takes Us” dealt with the profound effect this has had one me.
>>>>> And about your news ?
At the moment I am working on a few commissioned pieces. I am also taking the time to reflect and figure out what I want to work on next, as I am slowly preparing for an exhibition in Paris next year.
Lise Fenouil, Art Director