Srishti Dass is an abstract painter and illustrator currently pursuing her BFA in Fine Art at the School of Visual Arts, New York.
Born in New Delhi, India, Srishti derives inspiration from her culture. She tends to gravitate towards warmer tones because those are what she grew up with. Indian culture uses a lot of reds, yellows, and greens and thus her work mainly evokes those hues. She focuses more on the color than on other content and depends on applying color theory to get a successful composition. Lately, the theme of her paintings has been unknown spaces. Her main focus is to create spaces in her works that she feels comfortable in; spaces that are unfamiliar but evocative of something known. She wants the viewer to live in her paintings, maybe in a completely different way than her experience. She works large-scale and plans on going even bigger after graduating in 2021.
She was part of a studio collective for a year where she showed in different public places around New York. It started off in someone’s apartment and her final showing was at Pine Box Rock Shop in Brooklyn. She got featured in an online exhibition by Serving The People, BFA Show 2020. Her interview was also published in the first issue for Hazel Art Mag in August 2020. She also has been the Editor in Chief for the school magazine since 2018 and shares an interest in editorial and managing roles.
On her work and her style Srishti Says –
“All the places I’ve lived in have been very temporary. There’s not one place I can call home and feel fully at home. I have moved a lot and will be moving more in the future. Thus, I use my paintings to create unfamiliar spaces that make me feel comfortable. I say unfamiliar because of the colors and shapes I decide to use; a space I would not normally be in. I never start with a sketch or have a final outcome in mind – it’s always about different elements and colors. Each element of the work- a line, a circle, a shape- is derived from one another. I decide each one of them by attempting to balance the composition. I don’t want the viewer to feel forced to perceive my works in a certain way and thus I don’t name them. I want the viewer to make a space of their own, to experience the work through their own associations , and to get lost in it. My entire art practice, as of now, is based on attempting to explore alternative kinds of spaces on a two-dimensional surface. It also allows me to break rules of perspective. I start my pieces by deciding the first vanishing point of the first space. I leave traces from that that leads into a second space. This creates a movement that helps me travel within the painting.
The color is another major concern in my work. Coming from a very rich culture in India, I grew up with a lot of reds, yellows, and greens. I subconsciously deviate towards those colors while I’m painting. Recently, my focus shifted to how light functions as color. I am attempting to understand the relationship of light falling on abstract forms and using figurative elements within my abstract compositions. I have grown more interested in the relationships of the elements to one another over the end product.”
All Artworks by Srishti Dass.
Curated by Shrey Sethi.
Time (2020, Oil on Canvas, 63.5″ x 49″): This painting had a completely different approach. It came from a time of impatience and uncertainty. Along with the stress of COVID, I was also going through a lot of personal issues. This painting was just me waiting for time to pass. I started this painting to use it as a tool to get distracted, make it my safe space, and let time just pass by. The colors I used are mostly complementary to each other which gives the painting more contrast and represents a balance of colors (and emotions).
Untitled (2020, Oil on Canvas, 70″ x 47″): This was the first painting that shifted my focus to temporary spaces. There were more trial and error than anything else I’ve made. These were shapes I saw in shadows while I was home in India a few months back which always stuck with me. Right before this painting, there was uncertainty about my living situation and I wanted a sense of belonging, which I always did in India. This seemed like a good enough place to use those images in my head. This painting also saw a journey of colors as I was just starting to learn about color theory and its effects in perspective.