About

Raman Bhardwaj

I am an Indian descent freelance artist based in Greensboro, NC, USA. I am an illustrator and a painter. I have done BFA from India and have been a professional for over 15 years. My Art is a response to certain cognitive and visual stimulus. I am moved by people, animals, and other organic shapes in nature. My creative process involves my passion for anatomy and my curiosity in Pareidolia, a psychological phenomenon in which the mind responds to a stimulus, usually an image or a sound, by perceiving a familiar pattern where none exists. For example, shapes in the clouds or patterns in the sand.

My sense of aesthetics is concerned with celebrating the human body. I like to draw the lyrical beauty of the athletic human body, both male and female, as dancers, gymnasts, doing Yoga, and athletics. When I draw a graceful human body to perfection, it looks alluring and satisfies me as a draftsman, but it doesn’t captivate the artist within me. I am left wanting for more and I want to take away the academic ‘posed’ look from it. So, I formulated a process which helps me break free from a ‘contrived’ pose by adding the element of surprise – by melting and bending the figures in a way that is unplanned and beyond the order of anatomy but still retains the grace and movement of life forms. What I achieve through this process is a spontaneous organic distortion to my figurative drawings, turning them into stylized and unique visuals.

I combine my love for Pareidolia and my passion for gestural figure drawing through an engaging process. My favorite medium is Acrylics, followed by Charcoal. A blank canvas is very uninspiring and fails to stimulate me, so I create my own stimulus. I begin by killing the dead white canvas. For this, I would throw a very diluted acrylic paint on the wet canvas and let it spread and dry like a giant inkblot. Now, the canvas is ready for Pareidolia, stimulating my imagination. Soon, I would recognize the hidden gestural figure or figures. Often, I am able to see more than one concealed figure even if it involves rotating the canvas and viewing it from different angles. I choose the shape that beckons me most strongly to unveil it. Then I start with powerful brush strokes to reveal the hidden form. The third stage involves a few careful strokes or lines with paint or pastels to accentuate details that would enable viewers to enjoy the figures part melting into their origin and part standing out. These visuals sometimes inspire a story to be told through them as I am reminded of things, persons, ideologies, myths and incidents and I use various forms as symbols to tell these stories.

My process involves inspiration from a by-chance factor and an arbitrary response through skill and imagination.
This gives me an opportunity to discover visual motifs by diving into my psychological world that stores my Asian roots but also a global perspective of art, philosophy, myth, stories and life in general, and sometimes things that I can neither understand nor explain. Every dive into this Pareidolia is full of surprise, mystery and gratification.

However, I am not easily satisfied by doing one style of art and I am a big fan of impressionism, and  thus I also create figurative paintings in impressionistic style, though the theme here also revolves around graceful human figures ala dancers and athletes.

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Solo Exhibitions of paintings and drawings
• Drawings at Oslo (Norway) in 1996
• Impressions & Expressions- paintings at Rabindra Bhavan, Lalit Kala Akademi,
New Delhi 2003
• Exhibition of paintings at Dharamsala Museum (Himachal), 2004
• Paintings at Alliance Francaise, Chandigarh 2003
• Drawings and paintings at Fine Arts Museum, Panjab University, Chandigarh 2000
• Drawings at Govt. Museum, Chandigarh in 1996

Participations in Art exhibitions:
• Annual exhibition, Punjab Lalit Kala Akademi, 2004
• Annual exhibiton, Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, 2004
• Regional AIFACS exhibition in Chandigarh, 2004
• All India Exhibition of Art 1996 at Govt Museum, Simla, Himachal Pradesh.
•All India Exhibition of Art 1997 at Amritsar
• All India Exhibitions of Drawings 1995 at AIFACS, New Delhi
• Group Show by The Art People, New Delhi at Rabindra Bhavan – 2003
• AIFACS Painting exhibition (regional section) in 2002
• Drawing exhibition by Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi- 2002
• Bank of Punjab art competition 2002, 2003
• Group Show of paintings by young Chandigarh Artists in 2001

AWARDS
• National Award by NCERT, New Delhi, for illustrating a children’s book in 1995

• Gold medal for painting in all India exhibition by ‘Avantika’ – art group in New Delhi 2002

Online Art Competition 1st Award prize for artwork “Maori Creation Myth” in 2004 by http://www.takingitglobal.org

INVITATION TO WORKSHOPS
• Two-day Drawing workshop by Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi 2006
• Painting workshop at Panjab University Museum 2005
• Cartoons and caricatures workshop by Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi, 2003
• Drawing workshop by Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi 2002
• Young sculptor’s workshop by Govt. College of Architecture, Chandigarh 1996
• Painting workshop Chandigarh Lalit Kala Akademi 2002
• Painting workshop by NZCC at Kalagram, Chandigarh 2002
• Young artists workshop at Govt. Museum, Sector 10, Chandigarh, 1998

ARTWORKS IN COLLECTION OF:

• Fine Arts Museum, Panjab Univeristy, Chandigarh.
• The Chandigarh Press Club
• Alliance Francaise of Chandigarh
• Indian Express, Chandigarh
• With private collectors in India and abroad

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