RENDEZVOUS WITH ARTIST RAHUL DANGAT
“Painting is like breathing for an artist.”
The abstract painting by artist Rahul Nivrutti Dangat is a pleasing visual to the soul. Swirling lines, twisted shapes, dwindling light streams, vibrant hues, an array of colourful patterns, and the path of flowing water, everything can be seen in his paintings.
Since his student life he is keener in experimenting with techniques. He tried different options playing with opaque and transparent accidental effects.
He has evolved with a colour palette from greyish to warmish colour feel. There is a noticeable use of the crescent form in his work which may give variables to viewers as a moon, mask, semi-circle, modern architecture etc. He is not interested in telling any stories; he is neither giving any message to society. He is confined to himself where he enjoys exploring textures and accidental effects. Excerpts from an interview:
Since when have you started your artwork and what made you interested in this field?
Since childhood, I was good in drawing and painting. I took part in many competitions when young and usually got prizes. My parents were very happy about this and they wanted me to become an art teacher. I belong to a farmer’s family from Junnar Takula in Pune District. As my inclination was towards art, I too decided to take up arts as a career. I did my G.D. Art from Bharti Kala Mahavidyalaya, Pune, and BFA from M.M.K. College of Visual art, Gulbarga, Karnataka. After finishing my education I came to Mumbai and started painting as a freelance artist.
What kind of art do you mainly indulge in and why?
I am into abstract art as it gives me total freedom to express on canvas with lines, textures and colours. I love the way the colours behave when transparent and when opaque. Bright and warm colours bring in power and happiness. I make use of horizontal and vertical
lines to maintain a balance. I use the crescent form in most of my works which brings meaning to a large extent. There is a strong ornamentation in there which highlights the composition. I make sure that the work looks absolutely finished and appealing to the eye.
What is abstract art for you?
Abstract art for me is a medium wherein I get to play with lines, textures and colours to create a composition without any restrictions. I don’t have to follow rules and I prefer that.
What is your biggest achievement?
The biggest achievement is yet to come. When I was awarded the Manav Sanket Academy Ujjain Silver Medal in the year 2003, I felt elated. Whenever my paintings got a buyer, I felt my efforts bore fruit. The appreciation and the kind words which I received from the audience made me happy and felt it worthy of my hard work. I wish for more recognition worldwide in the name of my art.
Tell us about the struggles you have faced in this field.
After completing my education, I came to Mumbai to set up my career. At that time I realised that life is not as easy as I had thought it to be. I had no money for accommodation and for buying materials for painting. I had to depend on my relatives for stay and food. Running around galleries and showing them my work was a regular doing. A painting does not sell easily. It takes years. I got my first break from Pradarshak Art Gallery, Khar, Mumbai, in the year 2007-2008. I heaved a sigh of relief when my first painting got sold. I started teaching children and women to enable myself to withstand the Mumbai life. A regular income through teaching was coming in. I also did other works related to art like wall paintings and murals. I couldn’t depend on sale of my paintings which would happen once in a blue moon. It was the need for me to paint regularly. Painting is like breathing for an artist, but we do require regular sales but these days the market is not good and it can be very disappointing.
What are the colours you use mostly?
Initially it was the shades of grey and white. I used to connect with these colours the most, maybe because I was from a family of farmers. The grey palette used to connect me to Mother Earth. But through experience I realised that people like bright colours so I had switched to warm and bright colours. People love my paintings because of its brightness. They say that it brings in positive energy and happiness.
Which medium you like and why?
Acrylic is the medium I like as it dries quickly and it’s easy to create different textures with it.
How do you choose your subjects?
I sit in front of a blank canvas and start by giving textures. From there, the ideas flow and the forms emerge. I give life to them by a very unique style of my own which I have developed by working through the years. Of late, I have started titling my paintings.
What do you like and dislike about the art world?
I love the art world a lot because I am a member here. I have had many group shows in the past and am close to many artists from the art field and now it’s like family. I have my freedom to work in my own space and pace.
I feel that the art market is in a bad state and sales happen once in a while. An artist, during his struggling days, gets very little support. We do not have any government facilities like other countries have in favour of artists. Very few scholarships are offered to the artists in India. Though the artists category are a very hopeful lot, some of them succumb to depression while many others are forced to take up other jobs not connected to art in order to survive.