Friday, July 2, 2010

Interview and artist profile: Aarohi Singh

Hello! and are you ready for the long weekend? I wanted to leave you with a meaty post, loaded with pictures and a story...I know many of you know of, and have visited Aarohi, but some stories need to be revisited every once in a while, because they evolve and mature into classics over time. Aarohi is probably best known for her kitsch series of paintings- the bright colors just seem to grab you and pull you in.... However, she defies classification, as she dabbles in and masters several other mediums as well....and I guess that's the hallmark of a true artist! So anyway, time for me to grab my cuppa and hand the stage over to her......

GB: How did the first “kitsch” project come into being?

Aarohi: I have been doodling these kitschy images for a quite a while. I happened to see some hand painted Mexican art on an earthenware plate while surfing the web. And the rest as they say is history...

GB:  When you started with your kitsch line, whom did you share it with first (i.e. family, friends??) What was their reaction? When you launched it- what kind of reception did it get from the public- did you make any sales right away?

Aarohi: My first piece was a kettle that was painted while my husband was away in the USA. It showed two people about to kiss and I shared that with him and my friends with whom he was staying at the time over the net with a web cam. The second piece was a letterbox. This too had a couple on it with hearts and the like!! It was made in response to my husband travelling and how technology had changed everything. Snail mail was gone to be replaced with email. It was a piece of romantic fluff of an older less fast paced time.

I exhibited my first kitsch collection at the Cha Bar-Leela Palace Hotel in Bangalore in Nov 2008. I had about 35 pieces in all with five paintings and the one khiladi table. And it all flew off the shelves. I sold almost 80% of the stuff in the first two days of the three day exhibition. In fact, after that day I have never had that kind of stock again. Touch wood, it sells before I can get that many pieces together :-). you can see both on the exhibition page.

GB: When you hold exhibitions, it must be interesting to meet your fans face-to-face. Who buys your art? Any lasting impressions/memorable statements that have stayed with you?

Aarohi: I have all sorts of people buy my art. I have even had college students buy art from me. A friend and fellow artist likened my painting on kettles and buckets as a further extension of my being an artist and mother. He felt although I had taken a break from painting while raising my kids, the art never left me. And which is why I choose to paint on "stuff- (buckets and kadhais and kettles)" that had become a part of my daily life.

GB: New projects? What excites you? Any particular inspiration?

Aarohi: I am currently working on a series of portraits. I will always be into figurative art. Abstract is not for me.

GB:  You have such an amazing range of styles- which one is most “you”?

Aarohi: That is an unfair question, it's like asking which one of my children I like best. All of them ( styles) have different and distinct identities for me. They all come to me instinctively. I don't have to labour over them. It just needs a mind shift.

GB:  Which piece of art will you never part with (your personal fave?)

Aarohi: There aren't any pieces that I have kept specifically for me. In fact my favourite pieces have usually been the first ones to go.

GB: Do you travel a lot? Any new exhibitions coming up in the next couple of years?

Aarohi: I would love to travel but now with two kids and their school's difficult to say the least. But, I have travelled extensively. I am an Indian Air Force Officer's daughter, and have travelled the length and breath of this country and then some.

I certainly hope to have another major exhibition sometime this year.

GB:  Do you/where do you retail?

Aarohi: Directly from my home studio. And sometimes from Stores like Levitate in Bangalore and Maximum in Delhi. As and when I have my stock in other places, I will update the information on to my site. I am currently looking to tie up with a store in Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai and Calcutta. Lets see how it pans out.

GB: Well, we certainly hope that you manage to reach a wider audience and wish you all the best. Aarohi, thank you so much for sharing your work with us.....It was a pleasure having you on P&P!!

Want to read more? Go visit Aarohi at.


  1. Thank you to you... it was a pleasure chatting with you.

  2. Great interview and gorgeous work!

  3. Aarohi, thanks for being here!

  4. @designwali and preeti..thanks. :)

  5. I simply.. simply love Aarohis work!! She is truly talented..

  6. @Anu, Patty, I can't get over her watercolor paintings- simply gorgeous!

  7. Wow! Amazing! I am always terribly impressed at anyone who can do anything with is the hardest medium to work with. I am so inspired by these...thanks Gagan! I acnnot wait for the Aarohi's work to come to Hyderabad!

  8. Hi Kamini- its her watercolors that I'm terribly attracted to as well- those images of ordinary folk, the ease with which they lounge, the fluidity and composition! absolutely wonderful-and watercolors are so hard to work with!

  9. What a lovely interview! Well done, GB! Great going, Aarohi!:)

  10. Aarohi's work looks cheesy to me. Just venture into your local market and you would find way better artists that receive no promotion or opportunities to show case their talent.

    This seems like a fad and not art. Sure you can sell any thing these days by marketing and advertising to your target audience.

  11. @Sharon: Thanks.

    @Anonymous: The beauty in Aarohi's work is that she was a pioneer in the field! She did not set out to follow a trend- she started it!!! There's a difference between cheesy and art, and her originality makes all the difference here. You're also missing the point here by focusing on only the kitsch line- look at the rest of her work- its obvious that you've never picked up a brush and paints, otherwise you would know how hard it is to portray the human form in watercolor!!!Its easy to be judgmental when you don't have to do the work yourself isn't it?

    You are welcome to your opinion and are welcome to shop the local markets...

    Re: your comment on marketing---may I also add that I was not paid or compensated to write this post for her. If I acquire a piece of her work- I'll be paying for it.

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