Yamini Mohan

Artist Statement

Growing up in an artistic household, I always drew human forms, illustrating those around me. While studying painting at University, I started being increasingly drawn towards life and portrait studies. I began using charcoal to draw and in time it became my preferred medium. I find it best suited to give expression to my inner language.

Bold lines of charcoal define the human body in my sketches. I strive to infuse my illustrations with bodily sensations in a gender-neutral style. My work is an honest mirror to my own emotions. At the same time, it seeks emotional resonance with the perception of the viewer. It is rich in the hope of interacting with viewers on the same level of honesty.

Bodies lying intertwined with each other—movements that seemingly leap out of nowhere, souls liberated like birds—are some of the themes of my work. Exploring multiple levels of possibilities, the end result is often subjective and introspective as it transcends conventional distinctions and discrimination's of gender.

Chances are you may not find politically correct expressions of feminism in my work. However, you will not miss it kicking and screaming as feminism finds itself increasingly threatened in society as a whole and within families in particular.

Spontaneous strokes form shapes that move with a mind of their own as I try to capture them on a two-dimensional surface. I like to bring alive those agile movements through emphatic strokes. I believe lines and shapes, illustrated like in an action painting, capture the emotional turmoil with high intensity.These lines do not necessarily have to be poetic or aesthetic.

While I think my painting needs emotional liberation on some level, I cannot separate the human body as two. It is simultaneously the subject of the artwork and is also expressed as the object of that presentation. This human body becomes a conductor of pain, fear, joy or sorrow. I want the work of art to become a medium that successfully brings people into the mind space of the theme.

There are both masculine and feminine forms in my sketches, as the themes affect both sexes. The emotions pertaining to love, pain, anger, hatred, resistance and suppression are universal and hence while portraying them I stay gender-neutral. The pain dealt with in my work is as true for men as it is for women. I want my work to touch all emotions without distinction, for I see the masculine and feminine as being complementary in every sense.

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