Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Boynton Beach Art District Artist Featured in SunSentinel! Congratulations Vishan Senath!

by Jan Engoren

Age 30
He graduated from Florida State University in 2008 and West Dean College in 2012, earned his master’s of fine arts in painting and drawing from the University of Sussex, England, 2012.
Of Indian descent, Seenath was born in the United States to par- ents from Trinidad.

How did you come to the Boynton Beach Arts District?
I had been to events at BBAD and got to know Rolando Chang Barrero, the founder of the Arts District. I was teaching art in a middle school and when my contract was up, I decided to use the time to create and work on my art.
What is your style?
It’s a mixture of everything I’ve learned, incor- porating Western-style art and incorporating Asian-influenced aesthetics, including cultural in- fluences from Indian, Thai and Buddhist artwork. I also work in pen and ink and prefer to paint with acrylics.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I study Indian art from the past and incorpo- rate its influences into my work, focusing on is- sues such as racism and colonialism that affect me and other minorities. Much of my work is po- litical in nature, dealing with social issues, factory and migrant workers, social consciousness and my experiences in cross-cultural dating.
What do you want to achieve with your art?
I want to show people a different perspective, to see something from another’s perspective. If you can do this through art, that’s what makes it great. Open a window into another’s reality.
Are you disciplined in your art practice?
No. Distractions take over. It goes in cycles. I can paint and draw frenetically, then nothing, while I wait for inspiration to hit.
What is your creative process like?
I spend time looking back at my old work and sketchbooks to give me new ideas. I’m re- imagining old work in new contexts, and spend- ing time in self-reflection. I use a computer to do preliminary drawings. Then I print them and use carbon paper to trace the images onto the canvas. It’s exacting work.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Getting through graduate school. It’s one of the toughest things I’ve ever done. It’s changed my outlook. I don’t have the same inhibitions I had before. I channel my strongest ideas into my work and see what happens. I’ve created some controversy with my work and have gotten a strong response from the public. I challenged people’s ideas and preconceived notions and, in the process, have grown both personally and ar- tistically.
What did you want to be growing up?
A geneticist or biomedical engineer. I started those studies at FSU before I switched to art.
Whose work do you admire?
I love the work of Pakistani artist Shahzia Sikander, an expert in Indo-Persian miniature painting. I met her at the Norton Museum of Art last year and she is one of the first South Asian artists to contemporize Indian art, combining Muslim imagery and Indian themes.
What quality do you value most in yourself?
I’m curious about everything. I go beyond the superficial and try to learn as much as possible. I’m curious about the science and physics of everything.

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