Nipun K. Manda is an artist who works in a number of mediums, he incorporates visual, emotional and psychological impressions of urban tension, raw emotions and harsh realities tempered with gentle optimism and beauty seeking t h e combination of objective an d n on objective serves as matrix between social an d cultural spaces. he uses emotion, inspiration of nature and mankind becomes living imagery in a joy of whimsical transformations and above all the creative energy of life. His abstract expressionism often contains the spontaneous act of aesthetics and artistic expression of inner and outer spaces.
Nipun currently lives and works in Maryland. He has enjoyed international success and has been featured in many galleries all over the world. Having earned both a BFA and an MFA, Nipun enjoys displaying his work at shows like New York City’s ArtExpo.
Nipun recently discussed his art and more via an exclusive interview
Meagan Meehan (MM) of Entertainment Vine: What sparked your interest in creating artwork and how did you develop your unique and distinctive style?
Nipun K Manda (NKM): Since my childhood I’ve been drawing, painting and used to play and explore with clay models, since then my interest driven me to graduate in BFA and MFA, but I wasn’t happy for just getting my masters my inner self always forced me to think more beyond to peruse towards creative journey, I always tried to paint what I believe in and constantly working within myself to reach towards my distinctive style of semi abstraction by creating art for me the most satisfying way of working is the combination of the abstract and the figure. with the freedom of abstraction and the emotions that the figure can carry with t h e symbol i c potential of th e objective world and t h e possibilities abstraction presents i n su ggestin g t h e unknown. My paintings operate somewhere between abstraction and the cognitive world, between the unknown and the known.
MM: How did you break into the competence art industry and get your work shown internationally?
NKM: I always believed in uniqueness and creating my own style, simultaneously I have visited many art shows, art fairs and made connections with organizers, dealers and art lovers, but getting into international stage was challenging for me including travelling and dealing with different cultures, and having a positive dialog connecting with art and culture. So far I have successfully showcased my art nationally in Galleries and Queens Museum, NY, Hammond Museum NY, Williamsburg Art & Historical Center etc., and internationally in London, Paris, Dubai, India, Bermuda, Florence Biennale, Italy and Singapore.
MM: You were born in India, so how much does your culture and heritage influence your creative zeal?
NKM: Since I migrated to the US to join my family and became US citizen, I’ve been living and practicing my art since more than decades. Since my childhood I always believed in unity in diversity with positivity attitude towards my creative zeal India’s culture is among the world’s oldest; civilization it has vast diversity within each individual states Indian culture can be classified in terms of time spans and modern changes and it also changes in art world, since beginning of modernism in the west as well as in the east my influence involved a review of traditional cultural antecedents in the light of cross cultural encounters that opened up new experiential avenues. I’ve been observing the broader forces of urbanization and globalization from the eyes of modern cultures and believed in oneness still earth is our home, and of course there are cultural differences because of the diversity, and applies to everyone in the space we live in, on a day-to-day basis, most of us are so caught up living in this world as it is that we don’t have much time or energy to focus on how the world might become better and for many–probably most–people, the reality of those choices are not usually acknowledged consciously, at least not on a daily basis. Such people live according to habit and exist within choices given to them through mainstream media and educational systems, economic necessity, and immediate need satisfaction. But, if we take time to reflect about it, we find that, in each given moment, we have the ability to choose how we want to perceive the world, and how we want to live in it. If we face up to them, we have fundamental choices to make about who we are in the world, what the world means to us, and what kind of world we want to help create. So we are globally connected everywhere is the same story including India with changed cultural diversity. and thanks to rapid globalization is becoming increasingly visible in the international art world.
MM: What inspired you to start making the “mask” artworks, which look like clay-sculpted faces in frames?
NKM: As we live in our Infinity world and domination of urbanization my work is a contemporary statement through the perception on inner space and outer space juxtaposing with time and space of life experience, I incorporate visual, emotional and psychological impressions of urban tension, raw emotions and harsh realities tempered with gentle optimism and beauty seeking t h e combination of objective and non- objective serves as matrix between social and cultural spaces. My masked face sculptures represents he diversity, diversity of freedom, diversity of expression, diversity of cultures, diversity of sprits (Spiritual) incorporating the positive and negative space and beyond metamorphosed leaving a cognitive space for viewers to fill in to provide a chance to see things from different perspectives with the dimensions of the pieces viewers to become conscious of their physical relationship to the objects and scale proportion and humanity to elicit an emotional and intellectual response beyond.
MM: You gravitate towards the abstract, but also do some pieces containing recognizable forms, which works have gotten you the most fan feedback?
NKM: By creating art for me the most satisfying way of working is the combination of the abstract and the figure. The freedom of abstraction and the emotions that the figure can carry with t h e symbolic potential of the objective world and t h e possibilities abstraction presents in suggesting th e unknown . My paintings operate somewhere between abstraction and the cognitive world, between the unknown and the known. The works often begin with a general idea I might be reflecting on reactions with cultural and personal events of Inner Space and Outer Space associated with our lives, thoughts, memories, and imaginations. I translate these reactions into works made up of simplified forms, often with outsized proportions, to transcend time and space. I try to paint what I believe in, eliminating any marks or images which feel disingenuous, listening to what the painting is telling me to do rather than imposing my will on the work. In this way, it is my hope that the paintings aren’t driven self-consciously. They should emerge from a more enigmatic, less familiar place. In the process of painting, initiation, manipulation and removal of marks become one of the action and reaction. The paintings emerge slowly, one on top of the other, until they tell me I am done. Over all my fans liked both my abstract canvases and mixed media canvas sculptures.
MM: What kinds of life experiences has being an artist provided you and has any honor, particular honor, exhibit, or fan feedback especially touched you?
NKM: Being an artist is not an easy task its very challenging, and multitasking to support ourself and getting the shows organized but balancing is the key in my life journey, working as educator teaching Cisco Networking academy and Fine arts in two different areas also spending time in my studio including travelling nationally and internationally representing my art is huge responsibility. Also, I was invited in Fine arts career day, mentoring students with cultural exchange program, interacting with world recognized artists, collectors and media publications touched me a lot and felt honored.
MM: You recently displayed your at ArtExpo in NYC, so what was that experience like?
NKM: Artexpo is not my first time fair, I have exhibited several times including Spectrum Miami with same RMG group and it’s been a wonderful experience meeting with my fellow national and international artists looking into vast diverse art in different styles, and having an artistic and cultural dialogue, again meeting with galleries and art lovers, architects and interior designers, media people was a great experience. However, most of the art shows are becoming so commercial and participation cost becoming very expensive.
MM: What are your biggest goals for your future art career?
NKM: My goal would be planning for Vinece Biennale and participating in Art Basel and creating larger body of works in creative manner. I will be participating in Gallery shows and art fairs nationally and internationally as usual.
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To learn more about Nipun, see here.