Artist, entrepreneur and philanthropist Akshita Gandhi juxtaposes mixed media onto architectural landscapes of different cities to create art inspired by life

NOV 11, 2019 | By Aneesha Bhadri
CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT Art by Akshita Gandhi; Agamemnon’s Reverie VII (2018), inspired by Homer’s Iliad, employs shades of blue, red, and yellow with details of white and black; The Journey I exhibited at the Asia Contemporary Show Art Show, Spring Edition, Hong Kong 2019. It incorporates shades of turquoise, violet and chrome yellow with details in vermilion, white and black

At the age of 16 years, the idea of perpetuity in Hermann Hesse’s novel Steppenwolf influenced Akshita Gandhi to find her calling. The notion of “eternity experienced through moments of bliss” drove her to create art that inspires viewers to live infinite moments through her artwork. “I believe that art and inspiration lie in every atom of the galaxy,” the artist enthuses. Gandhi’s work is often supplemented with an idea, quote, lyric or stories from literature and mythology. “These stories, songs and symbols form a rich visual narrative that has guided my artistic development from a young age. My recent works are titled and based on Cleopatra, which was an ode to women; Don Quixote, the hero from Spanish literature, Agamemnon’s Reverie, from the Trojan war (Greek mythology), so on and so forth,” explains Gandhi.

Her process begins with photographing cityscapes—landmarks, quaint lanes slums, and more. She then prints them on canvas in monochrome and sepia, and layers them with different media like Chinese ink, acrylic paint, markers and decoupage. The photographs are stolid narratives of our daily lives, a symbol of the mundane. They are brought to life with bright colours, vibrant strokes and intricate designs that represent the myriad and multifaceted dreams and yearnings that speak to each city’s people.

“I usually play music that allows me to tap into personal life experiences and let them flow onto my canvas. With every stroke, I lose and re-discover myself,” says the artist. Having inherited her love for art from her mother, she held her first exhibition at the age of 16 and offered the proceeds to build an old age home in Karjat. Gandhi is passionate about philanthropy—for her, business and art are never in conflict. Her business acumen and artistic sensibilities, or her “yin and yang” as she likes to call them, work in harmony to aid in her humanitarian pursuits.