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Triveni Srikaran is a multidisciplinary artist and curator based out of Oakville, Ontario. She studied art at the University of Toronto (UOFT) and Sheridan College of Art and Design. She further continued her studies graduating with a Master of Art History at the UOFT and a Master of History at McMaster University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Modern British History and Gender Studies and Feminist Research at McMaster University.
Despite her hectic academic schedule, Triveni loves to paint in her free time. She won numerous awards in Painting and Sculpture during her undergraduate years. She exhibited all across Mississauga, Oakville, and Toronto, participating in various exhibitions and competitions. She also acted as a curatorial intern for the 2015 Nuit Blanche in Toronto. Recently, she became a proud member of the Women’s Art Association of Canada.
“The realist thinks he knows ahead of time what reality is, and the abstract artist what art is, but it is in its formality that realist art excels, and the best abstract art communicates an overwhelming sense of reality.” – Fairfield Porter
I am a figurative painter. My subject matter consists of portraits, domestic scenes, interiors, and the places I visited, all portraying a sensitive representation of the world around me. I develop my paintings mostly from my sketchbook of observations. Like Baudelaire’s Flâneur, I enjoy capturing the complexities of modern life and urban alienation by entering into the life of my figures as an impersonal observer. Generally, I try to avoid pre-setup studio subjects. I aim to capture life moments as they transpire before my eyes and how my figures and I experience it. My philosophy is to aim at everything being direct, honest, and uncomplicated.
The figures in my paintings are usually relaxed, still, and sometimes quiet, carrying on their day-to-day activities. Nevertheless, they always stay ambiguous. I feel that the identity of the figure is not essential. Rather than capturing the character’s identity, I am more interested in visually integrating the figure’s essence with the background. My paintings’ real subject matter is the entire scene and the peculiar effect of light on the subjects.
My inspiration to capture light’s effects comes from two of my favorite art movements – Impressionism and Fauvism. In my quest to balance these two styles—the reaction to natural light and search for an invented color—I sometimes create color as captured in unnatural light, which I try to balance out using dense opaque shadows in delicate, warm, and luminous colors. This painting technique lets me convert my subjects’ ordinary, uninteresting, day-to-day activities into extraordinary, ethereal, authentically lived experiences. As one of my favorite figurative painter, Fairfield Porter, once said about Edward Vuillard, “his paintings may seem ordinary, but the extraordinary is everywhere.”