When did you realize that art is your path?
It was during my graduation days in 2003,I was very much influenced by popular art and Andy Warhol. Which makes me take the art profession seriously. In later years many regional arts also impacted me and my art practices.
How do you balance your various projects since you are both an artist/researcher and a professor?
As an artist I have continued my art practices regularly since 2007, I also work at home studios, sometimes university studios. Based on my thought process I planned to do my work on paper first and later shift that idea into required medium Ex; Wood, Canvas, MDF Boards. I found the paper is very much close to my expression as of now. Working with multiple mediums like watercolour and colour inks and litho press inks will be more supportive for my expression of emotion .(www.mpavankumar.com/)
As a researcher monthly once I move around different locations for new painted commercial art for first hand documentation (www.popularvisualculture.com) I spend time for research work on weekends. Meet local artists for their thoughts and beliefs about making the particular images. Also any influence of self or other kind. Through my popular art research I am trying to explore the living culture influence over commercial art practices. (www.popularvisualculture.com)
During my job as an assistant professor I taught them art and ideas how to construct ideas on multiple levels and execute them in a strong way.my orientation based on different context and time and social and political conditions.
Which medium do you prefer? What inspires you to create?
Currently I am experimenting with paper large size mix media works.in future I may change based on my idea demands. More than inspiration I found the result of final work on paper is supporting my expression.
How do you think your experience of life, coming from India has shaped your ambition, style and aesthetics?
Being in a new environment from India was a different feeling. Which I have experienced earlier in London during 2018 for my Royal College of art days also at the University of Oxford for short courses .the global community in one place will fascinate you. But Belgrade is different from the UK and Paris which I visited during my residency period. I felt very different here socially and geographically and more inspiration from street art culture and also my visit to University of Belgrade for my art talk. Many local art styles and street art aesthetics inspired me in various ways which may impact on my future projects.
What are you trying to communicate with your art?
I have often felt a sense of withdrawal from my All through, my works can be seen as an investigation about me. It can be also seen as journeys undertaken through various terrains outside and inside by me. Surroundings. This withdrawal has helped me to see the world outside me with a cynical eye without emotionally getting overpowered by situations and circumstances. This also helps me to introspect myself critically. I feel this “Othering” of one’s own self also reflects the contemporary social condition of alienation. Modernity due to its stress on material progress and dystrophic achievements has removed meaning from existence. We are like ‘beings’ without any ‘essence’. This existential predicament however has been manipulated by power to further alienate the people from themselves by making them desire what they don’t need but still spend their entire life desiring those. One can see a complete absence of human ‘beings’ in my painting. Even the self is absent. The only suggestion of the self is in the position I offer to the viewer whereby I expect them to undergo the same predicament as mine. The places or monuments in my works may refer to recognizable and popular sites. But I use them only as reference signs to bring about certain experiences and specific instants. The architecture and the cityscapes can also be seen as enclosures bounding the self without allowing its social interaction.
How important is it for artists to circulate and visit different places? How did you choose Belgrade?
Traveling and exploring world art and cultures are very important for artists to understand life and art in many stages of their artist life. I have learnt and explored many things from traveling in India, UK, France and Serbia.
I am actively applying for Postdoctoral ,art grants and residencies .But Belgrade is one of my choice because of One of the most important prehistoric cultures of Europe, Belgrade has wildly varying architecture which is close to my interest about monuments .During my stay I have seen and enjoyed many of them. I don’t think I should choose Belgrade .The historic city chooses me.
Did you find your inspiration in Belgrade? What are you working on?
Yes definitely, I got inspiration from historical and architectural monuments. New places always inspire me a lot. New social culture and living traditions always gives me motivation for my monumental paintings.
How do you see yourself in the future? Any exciting projects?
As an artist I would like to explore more in work of art .I try to achieve my ideas through future projects. Planning to start a new project on popular visual culture in India. Need to work more conceptually on background. Hope I will be able to work on it successfully.
Your message to future artists in residency in Belgrade…
Work more creatively and explore more dimensions in your thoughts. Understanding the time and technology for your ideas.it may support you for better result of your ideas.