Rahul Mukerji came into my interview circle via Artdc.org’s ArtOMatic Forum – the place for everything you need to know plus some. I posted there looking for folks willing to interview because I know active artists hang out there and because I enjoy interacting with artists who are proactive on behalf of themselves and their art business. Let’s face it, if we artists don’t promote ourselves, it will be a hard slosh getting our work out into the world. Networks help with that promotion and Artdc is one great network.
The first ArtOMatic for Rahul was 2009, so this is his second time. He says, “I got to interact with so many talented artists and I was exposed to such a wide variety of art and music it really drove me to pursue my art a little more serioursly. I came back because this time I had more to show and I wanted to participate and contribute to DC’s art. One can make some fantastic connections at ArtOMatic, and you will always leave inspired, ‘shocked and awed.’
Rahul notes that he decided to exhibit various kinds of art in his display this year. “I’ve been churning out for the last couple of years. I have a few webcomic strips on display to showcase my general sketching/cartooning, two pyrography (wood burning pieces) – a really interesting medium of art, and filtered photography from Europe.” Additionally, he is also showing fractal images from his digital renderings, and a TV displaying 30 minutes of Fractal Animations in a looped fashion (scroll down on the linked page to see some of what he is talking about). Rahul calls the fractal animations “a beautiful hypnotic journey through a mathematical universe.” He chose to display pieces he believes will immediately grab attention while also being aesthetically pleasing.
But that’s not all! Rahul will will be performing an acoustic solo on June 9 at 7pm on the 8th floor stage at 7pm for 45 minutes with a 15 minut period to clear the stage for the next band.
Because his personality comes through so loud and clear, I’ll let Rahul speak in his own voice for the rest of this interview.
Why should a visitor make a special trip to visit your space?
First off, there are the comic strips to make you laugh! And second, if you’re sipping on some alcohol, the fractals make for a fantastic trippy show!! To top it all off, you can inspire kids to take a keen interest in MATH since that’s what my fractals are. Kids find these animations “Sooooooooooo Cooooooooool!”! And you can tell them ‘It’s all intertwined mathematical formulas. No go finish your algebra homework.’ See, it’s education as well….
How long have you been making art?
For as long as I can remember I’ve been doodling in some form or another. My canvas painting years stopped during the end of high school. I picked up cartooning a little later and after that it’s just been a series of Hey-let-me-try-my-hand-at-this events.
What do you do when/if you hit a slump?
When I hit a slump, and I often do, I will try something completely different. That’s how I got introduced to digital drawing, pyrography, fractals and such. I will just find a whole new medium and start from scratch.
If that doesn’t work, I’ll just lay off it and come back to it with a fresh mind after a given time limit, which can be anything from 2 minutes to 2 months.
It really helps to have a wide variety of hobbies to pursue – in my case, music and creating animations, which it totally different from my art – to break the monotony.
Who are your favorite artists and what inspriation do you draw from them?
Ha ha ha….How much space and time do you have?
In no specific order for my art: almost all the MAD comic artists (pre-2000 era) – Al Jaffee and Don Martin are just fantastic, along with the rest of the staff (Berg, Sergio, etc etc). I also like Bill Watterson, S. Pastis, Bill Plympton, Keith Knight and a host of comic artists. Based on the artist, I enjoy their delivery/simplicity or just the ingenuity of their artwork that makes them such stalwarts in their fields.
Music wise, you should just pull every guitarist from Charlie Christian to Children of Bodom’s Alexi Laiho and that will give you a fair estimate. I listen to all kinds of music and as time goes by my taste keeps changing. So horn players, piano players, bass players, big band swing – all make it into my daily music routine at some point. On the inspiration side of things, based on the the artist again, I draw on their compositionial style, their phrasing or their “evolution” through their albums, and try to imbibe what best I can from them to help me be a better musician.
Have you had a chance to look around ArtOMatic yet this year? Do you have any instant or returning favorites?
Oh yes!! I walked around quite a bit during installation and then on the first 2 days. There are some seriously stunning pieces of work in the comic/surreal and photography fields, but I can’t remember their names off the top of my head. Most of them hadn’t gotten their names and cards up during the install. I’m planning on taking my friends on a tour and that’s when I’m going to be picking up cards and such.
Where else can we see your work?
On my website: http://www.mukerji.us
Reverb nation: http://www.reverbnation.com/rahulmukerji
Deviant Art: http://rahulmukerji,deviantart.com/
As I’m a hobby artist, I have not gone ahead and pursued a gallery or any other art shows as yet. But things might change in the future. So keep a tab on my website and as and when I start to display things somewhere, I’ll post a note about it on the website!
Anything else you’d like to add?
Well, if you see me wandering the halls at ArtOMatic or at my solo gig or with my band or if you stop by one of the links above, say “hello”. I’m always looking to meet artists and network and draw inspiration from their work.
We need more art in this world. Someone truly said: “EARTH” without “ART” is just “EH.”
To read more interviews and see more photographs from ArtOMatic 2012 and earlier ArtOMatics, go here.