"THESE ARE NOT ONLY MY TOOLS... WHEN I TOUCH THEM, THEY ALSO BECOME AN EXTENSION OF MY WHOLE."
Siddharth Shingade (born in 1983) is an Art teacher in the city of Latur. He graduated from L.S. Raheja School of Art in Mumbai with a G D in Painting and with an Art Education from Sir J.J. School of Art also in Mumbai. He has showcased his work nationally and abroad and has achieved popularity in a short span of time.
Siddharth has a deep emotional connection with his place of birth. Marathwada is India’s worst drought-affected location and his paintings echo the mellowed mood of his people and their daily lives. He uses mixed media and acrylic on canvas to impart textures and details to his work. From depicting the scenes of the village highlighted in deep reds, earthy browns, pistachio greens to painting in monochromes--a mastery over his method and message. His artwork carries meaningful titles which the viewer instantly relates to and allows the viewer to accept the artist’s profound message.
Siddharth works consistently with what and how he wants to portray people on his canvas. You will see the Shiva and Parvati too being done by him, yet, there is a depth, an ongoing conversation that the viewer can listen to. Sometimes the divine couple is depicted as a human couple- yet Siddharth manages to make them stand out.
Certainly, Siddharth’s strong connection to his roots is depicted in his paintings. A true richness that can be admired through melancholic earthy tones that portray untold stories. His paintings bring before your eyes distant territories that introduce you to new wonders and tales. A sort of world where one can easily get lost in, yet feel completely comfortable in it. Works of art that display love at its core, spreading and overflowing to its surroundings.
Q. How and when did you first become seriously interested in art?
A. Since childhood, I was aware that I can only do painting rather than anything else. I swear I was born for painting but did not know one can make a career out of it until my uncle changed all of that, then we both decided to go with the flow with art. That's when my journey started.
Q. What have you had to sacrifice for this career?
A. I didn’t sacrifice anything, I just had to leave my village. Some years I stayed away from my family and my friends, that’s it. But it was a very important decision. And thanks to this same decision, my life is fulfilled with happiness, and my work gave my identity a new face.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. My biggest influence is Gustav Klimt. When I saw his paintings for the first time, I was speechless, the colors, the forms, the subjects, it touched me very deep inside.
One of his paintings influenced me a lot, "The Kiss." This painting inflames a lot, then suddenly when I was doing my assignment, his textures and his colors started reflecting on my canvas. I was so happy, but my uncle realized it immediately and taught me to differentiate between influence and inspiration.
Another artist is Datta Bansode, in my college days he had lots of influence on my work and style. He had painted a woman wearing a hijab, and all I could see was her face and hands so, every day I would admire this same painting until one day I had a profound connection. That women had so much to say--that painting influenced me a lot.
Nowadays, I influence my own self. My past work offers me endless inspirations. You see, emotion is the reflection of a particular time and space which you cannot hold but can sure understand.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. No, I don’t think the artist's life is lonely. In his inner space, there are lots of things in his mind. In his inner world, lots of people live together. And in his studio the artist never feels alone, he lives with his canvas brushes and some materials that keep him company.
Q. Apart from art, what do you love doing?
A. Apart from making art, I love to travel, visit art exhibitions, and exchanging the culture and thoughts with other artists. Love to listen to poetry, and reading; Books always gives me the best advice.
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. To me, 'Success ' is not a destination, it's a journey. Meaning, continuing to work with the same gusto all my life.
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. The great abstractionist of India, Prabhakar Kolte advised me:
"It is very important for an artist to accept solitude because out of that solitude, arises self-reflection and introspection that gives birth to creativity."
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. Be devoted to your passion. Work hard and constantly; there is no luck without such key factors.
"These are not only my tools.... when I touch them, they also become an extension of my whole."