People of PU is our section where we feature those students of Panjab University and its affiliated colleges in particular and citizens of Chandigarh in general whose ventures deserve nothing short of a cover, and yet more than that!
Alberto Giacometti once said, “the object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity.” Sikander Singh, a freelance artist and the alumnus of Government College of Art, Sector 10, has been doing that for eighteen years now. A nature-aesthete at heart, he has been acing the field of watercolors and acrylics painting and honing many aspiring artists as well. Besides the annual art prizes, he has been honored with over 10 national and international awards for his works. His solo exhibition at the Panjab Kala Bhavan, Sector 16, in April 2017 showcasing 74 of his paintings attracted many art-lovers across Chandigarh. Here he shares his inspiration and bravura.
I follow realism; photo-realism could be counted as well. My favorite is portraiture though. What I normally see around me, people, animals, landscapes and things like that, I bring it to my canvas.
What are your subjects for painting and how do you choose them?
I basically draw things I see around me. Anything that I find even a little captivating, it is destined to be on my canvas. I am an avid photographer and love travelling. So, that also inspires my work. I portray the essence of India and it gives me a patriotic feeling.
Who are the artists that inspire you?
Sir Peter Rubens, David Hockney, Sobha Singh and John Fernandez. We start learning by observing and copying others. And works of these artists have taught me a lot from the very start of my career.
Who all support you in this profession?
I believe I have been blessed to have many supportive people around me. My Guru, Sardar Satnam Singh had guided me through this and then my parents always motivated me to forge ahead. I have been quite lucky that my wife is also an art-lover. And my amazing students too, who help me in organizing my exhibitions and workshops. They all are my strength. Among everyone, my mother was the one who supported me the most and I dedicate all my success to her.
What things you do other than painting?
I’ve made myself 3 channels- painting, travelling and photography. I just keep switching between these so I am never bored. Having different hobbies is really needed to overcome the creative block.
How ‘mainstream’ is art, according to you?
The new designs that we see in gadgets and all, who makes them? We, the artists. I think it’s time we start considering fine arts more than a hobby and parents should totally support this. There is a bias in favor of engineers and doctors but fine arts are equally good. I also had a rough start but I kept on working and improving and every profession demands that. I’ve been invited to New Zealand where I had my solo exhibition and 2 workshops and besides that many workshops and exhibition across India and that can be counted as success.
Just as I always say, “Art is a window towards world and I wish that younger generation feels everything from heart and makes attempt to portray it on canvas.” Art surrounds you waiting to be discovered. We learn from watching others and it’s very necessary to observe things. I’ve learnt a lot from YouTube videos of Milind Mulick and Joe Miller. These days’ social media is brimming with ideas and great artwork. Just follow your passion which may come with some struggle too but the appreciation and the satisfaction you receive is worth it.
About the Author:
I am a concoction of desires, seek solace in solitude. Circumspectly sarcastic. My pen is prompted by societal stimuli.