‘MY ART SHOWS MY MIND’

The New Indian Express - - EXPLORA - Rochana Mo­han

When Ro­han Dum­bre asked his stu­dents to paint some Warli tribal art, they as­ton­ished him with their creativ­ity and orig­i­nal­ity. Their work in­spired him to cre­ate his lat­est series, ti­tled ‘Bloom­ing’. The Mum­bai-based artist came down to the city re­cently for The Art Brunch, held at the Courtyard by Marriott. In a tete-a-tete with the artist, he shared more about his three re­cent series, his paint­ing series Talk­ing Heads, his dig­i­tal art series Seren­ity, and his pho­tog­ra­phy series Dhobi Ghat. “I was di­ag­nosed with schizophre­nia when I was 16 years old. I don’t keep a di­ary, be­cause my art is my di­ary,” said the 33-year-old. Talk­ing about his favourite artist EN Suza, Ro­han ex­plained that his fas­ci­na­tion with head stud­ies comes from the fact that they pose as a per­fect way to de­pict his emo­tional state. Show­ing off some of his paint­ings, Ro­han ex­plained that he tries to ex­plain the var­i­ous symp­toms of schizophre­nia through his art. He ex­plained hal­lu­ci­na­tions through his paint­ings, mir­ror im­ages by copy­ing the im­age on the can­vas, and anx­i­ety through lay­er­ing im­ages over one an­other. “Van Gogh used art to help him. My series helps me in a dif­fer­ent way – for ex­am­ple, my Seren­ity series helps me when I am stressed. Colours have al­ways ap­pealed to me, and I saw that in the dhobi ghat,” he said. Af­ter drop­ping out of his ar­chi­tec­ture de­gree at DY Patil in Mum­bai, he pur­sued art at Rachana Sansad Col­lege in 2008. He dab­bles in pho­tog­ra­phy and per­for­mance art in ad­di­tion to paint­ing, as he said each gives him a dif­fer­ent kind of hap­pi­ness. His per­for­mance art is po­lit­i­cal in na­ture. “I per­form in Kolkata a lot, and there we have a lot of free­dom to speak against the rul­ing govern­ment,” he said, laugh­ing. In his stu­dio in his two-bed­room apart­ment in Mu­lund, Ro­han spends his week­ends paint­ing, teach­ing, tak­ing pho­to­graphs and de­sign­ing. Getting gal­leries and fi­nances are still is­sues though. “For­eign buy­ers usu­ally pur­chase my head stud­ies. In­di­ans don’t like them so much. I can’t show­case any works in gal­leries for five years be­cause of the rule in Mum­bai. But I still spend my time paint­ing,” he said.

Artist Ro­han Dum­bre painted a Mercedes Benz at the Art Brunch event

Ro­han Dum­bre and his art­works

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