Abstract art is like music: Seema Pandey

The sky is not a limit for me but an immense visual inspiration, rejoices the abstract artist Seema Pandey. Her primary influence was looking up at the sky and the rest every time she flies perched on the airplane window seat!

In art circles around the world and as an educator-critic, she has carved out a place for herself as an abstract artist, immersing her heart and soul in creating art over the past 15 years and has organized solo and group exhibitions in venues in Delhi, Bangalore, Kyoto and Tokyo, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Frankfurt and Sofia. She has been called upon as a mentor by institutions like the United Nations Information Center, the British Council and Pearson among several other institutes. She published a research paper ‘American Influence on Japanese Art & Vice Versa’.

Ravi V. Chhabra of the Millennium Post interviewed her amidst her ongoing solo exhibition “Where the sky is Pink and Clouds are Green”, running at Triveni Kala Sangam in Delhi from July 11-20, 2022.

Your early observations of the world, images, dreams and scenes around you that impacted your forte as an abstract artist?

I guess my obsession with the sky above…it was a source of strength and artistic inspiration.

Abstract painting is like a piece of music. In the same way that we don’t look for or look for any story or meaning in a piece of music and just enjoy it, we don’t have to struggle to look for meaning or story in the painting. You spend time in front of a photo and you will start to see things.

Isn’t it correct to assume that abstract art is much more complex to grasp than landscape or figurative art?

It’s all about familiarity. When we know the shapes of works of art, we call it realistic and when we have not seen this shape in our past, we call it abstract.

How do you view collage(s) as art and do they have appreciation and commercial value?

Collage is an interesting medium and yes, they are recognized and appreciated as works of art. Also in the past, some amazing collage artists like Picasso, Braque and Henri Matisse, Kurt Schwitters, Max Earnst had used collages as a way to create art works. Even now there are amazing collage artists that I saw in India art fair like Ian Malhotra, Maya Varadaraj, Chila Kumari Burman.

I’m often told that non-abstract works sell better globally. Why is that?

I don’t agree with that. I see many abstract artists in demand among art buyers and collectors.

Name some of your favorite artists in various genres, especially abstract art. The reasons?

I love the works of the engraver Krishna Reddy. I like paintings by VS Gaitonde, A Ramachandra and Benod Behari Mukherjee are my favorite artists.

What medium(s) do you use and why?

I like to work with acrylic and charcoal. I like gouache. I worked in oil after a long time during the pandemic and loved working with it. My works are primarily in acrylic as this medium complements and supports my style of working and helps me achieve the desired results in painting.

Your description of semi-abstract art?

Semi-abstract art for me would be art with recognizable shapes and unrecognizable shapes.

What connection do you find between your art, torture, the social fabric and music. How do you mix?

Artists are as much a part of this modern society as any other profession. Modern artists are aware of the current trends in various parts of the world. They experiment. I make no deliberate effort to do so. if it happens, it happens organically.

The best way to promote abstract art?

By talking and interacting with viewers, artists need to become more accessible. The whole atmosphere of the art gallery can be very intimidating for some viewers.