PANAJI: Inspired by one of the greatest painters of all time Leonardo da Vinci, Goan-origin artist Radhika Gaitonde Neurekar is attaining a wonderful reputation of making realistic paintings with a touch of surrealism. The 30-year-old Mumbai-based artist has taken the social media by storm with her terrifically diverse paintings, holistically crafted to perfection.
Livenewsgoa.com puts the spotlight on Radhika in the segment ‘Artist in Focus’. Here are the excerpts of the interview.
ARTIST IN FOCUS
LNG: Every artist has a story. We are eager to listen to your’s. How and when did your inclination towards art, start and grew stronger?
RN: When I look back, I see connections and sparks of interest that have been woven together to form my current creative expression. This is my journey, and I’m so glad that I’ve been able to share it with livenewsgoa.com
Art is a quest! That is my notion on art. It is a continuous search for inspiration, style, theme, colour etc. At the age of 10, I knew that I was meant to be an artist. Every single element of the world caught my attention – birds, flowers, nature and many things; to the point that I could not control myself from copying them on a paper. Even if my technique was not that good, but the love of art inside my heart was already on the edges, and getting incrusted within me day after day totally. Well, my parents knew this since the age of four as I was totally involved only with books and colours!
I carried with me a sketch-book everywhere, in which I drew everything that caught my attention. Girls, birds, clouds … I did my best to see beauty in every single element of this world.
LNG: Your paintings are realistic, and they give a surreal impression by looking like photographs. What’s the secret behind your perfect strokes?
RN: My artistic life changed when I read the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. In his notes, he explored every single element in drawing realistic portraits. Going from the ‘brightness’ of the room you’re in, to the nature of people who are watching you drawing. He talked about the concept ‘scientifical’ drawing. How every piece you put on the paper should be calculated. If you don’t get the eyes in the right place, that means it was a miscalculation or a proportion error. If you don’t get the right colour on the skin, that means you miss something in the mixture of the colours in your hands… It is all a matter of calculations according to Da Vinci. Once you understand this, your brain will function like as if it’s solving a puzzle. You will try to look at the simple elements first. Then without noticing it, every time before putting your hand on the paper, you will be thinking how the line you’re drawing will be influencing the global image. It becomes similar to constructing reality on the canvas, than expressing it inconsciently. This was at the age of 16, when I was firm that I want to become a famous painter and pursue something only in this field. I am inspired by artist Shashikant Dhotre, who is into realistic work and is my true inspiration since 2016.
LNG. How big a role did the overall support system play in shaping your career?
RN: My parents supported me. I got a lot of backing from my mother and especially my grandfather, who since I was a 5-year-old kid, collected my smallest of drawings – including even if I would scribble lines, into a file. So in my living room, he had kept a wall only for me… that was the place he used to display my six drawings, every week.
My mother is a critic. She not only praised, but also gave me tips if it doesn’t look good, so that I could bring in an improvement. In 2018, I got married and yes I am a truly lucky girl as God has blessed me with a wonderful husband and lovely caring in-laws. My in-laws and my husband have always been a huge support as well. I am so blessed by God… Special thanks to my mother, father, husband, in-laws and my grandmothers. I miss both my grandfathers and am sure they would be blessing me from up there for my growth now.
I studied at Our Lady of the Rosary High School. My teachers always knew I would raise the bar someday and be an artist. My art teacher, Miss Amalia supported me and till date she still does encourage me in everything I do. I can’t imagine my life without art now!
LNG. You have plenty of fans across the social media platforms and they are awestruck every time you post a painting. Does it lead to pressure of expectations now?
RN: The social media platform has been very helpful where I can reach out with my art work to all. People, who are art admirers, keep appreciating and that gives me more courage to do things and reach out to wider group of people. (However) praises are not always good and a critic is a must. Luckily, I have a husband, who corrects my mistakes if he doesn’t like a painting which is much-needed.
LNG. You are also active into the social field of counselling children. How much does it mean to you to work on psychology aspect?
RN: Yes I have done counselling in REBT and Carfcuff model behavioural therapy too under Dr. Rajan Bhosle. I had been counselling with Disha too, which helps me to understand human behaviour and I did this through Art therapy where if a person is disturbed; I can work and help other get out of it through a drawing and help heal his or her emotions.