I Spy Something Painterly

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Art is in the medium.

As technology progresses, so does art. But the value in using classic mediums has not, and will not, be denigrated. Experiencing an artwork with real brushstrokes is the same as experiencing a book written on real paper. It literally affects your body in a different way.

Researchers and educators Julia Christensen, Guido Giglioni, and Manis Tsakiris wrote, “Both the basic properties of art (whether it’s in a minor or major key; the colours of a painting), as well as the complexities of its content (the lyrics of a song, the facial expression of a person in a painting), can induce reflections and emotions – and will invariably affect our body’s physiology.”

Art-psyche manifestations look and feel different in everybody. But from artist to viewer (and whatever occurs in between), we are reminded that art is an interaction. It is a transmission. Tanya Sinha, Sara Khan, and Naiza Khan dip their hands and souls in paint. Scroll on to experience a shift.

Doll” by Sara Khan

Sara Khan: Transcendentalism in Contemporary Realities

Sara Khan is inspired by the interactions she observes and is part of. Her work is about the power, control, and feminine energy she experiences in her reality. One of her most striking works is “Doll.” In an interview with SAD Mag, she said she depicted herself “as vulnerable and completely exposed, but not really willingly, and being judged. It was more about one’s vulnerability being seen.”

Khan’s work is a set of imagined representations. But what is imagined is also real. It is truthful. Her panoramic dreamscapes capture heart, purity, and melody. There is song here, but not without deliberation. Figures, colors, and marks are packed with messages that demand an inside and outside attention from mind, body, and soul.

Women’s Games” by Sara Khan

(Detail) Women’s Games” by Sara Khan

Tanya the Painter: Expressions, Impressions, and Textures

Tarana Burke” by Tanya Sinha

Tanya Sinha is an emerging artist who is building a body of work featuring women of color. Sinha believes art is a transformative, healing tool. This belief shows itself in the anatomy of her technique. There is softness in every spatter. There is a cleaving of heart and vitality at every intersection of colors. There is respect for the human spirit and sweetness in the shape arrangement.

Sinha’s abstracts aptly capture life’s moments; they look different on every glance as light and psyche hit them. She danced to create the strokes on “Ascension.” Through and through, there is joy and empathy. This art feels like an embrace. You want it to light up your soul and root you down. You want to live inside of it.

Ascension” by Tanya Sinha

Naiza Khan: Steely Shadows

Rani of Jhansi” by Naiza Khan

Naiza Khan‘s body of work has a common color thread: pink, slate-grey, blue. Herein lies the lyrical nature of her work, living in blots and lines. Georgia O’Keefe had a deliberacy that helped her create the soft lines she is famous for. She kept her eyes on the desert horizon and worked slowly.  There is something in each piece that feels deliberate in Khan’s work, too.

Map-under-construction” by Naiza Khan

Khan’s series are excavations of self. They explore in-betweenness, juxtaposing soft and hard, finding repose in the viewer’s eyes. They are conscious explorations of past and present, reminding us of the non-linear nature of time. This work is a confrontation as much as it is an invitation into a shifting paradigm. It helps the viewer observe the inner self and external world from a vantage point that involves the evanescent nature of shadow. In addition to her watercolor works, she creates armor that reflects the same elements: angle, movement, malleability.

Armour Suit for “Rani of Jhansi II.” Galvanized steel, feathers, leather. Image courtesy the artist and Rossi & Rossi, London | HK

In these artists’ creations, we honor not only our here and now’s, but our changing and evolving selves.