‘MY ART SHOWS MY MIND’
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