Pulkit Kamal is a self taught artist from Mumbai, India. He started exploring mixed media and digital alteration, mostly to form a surreal atmospheric environment depicting depression, anxiety, lifelessness, joy, love, sorrow, despair, remorse and heartbreaks. Discover more about Pulkit and his work on the following interview.
Hello, Pulkit! Tell us more about yourself and what made you start exploring mixed media?
I am a visual artist and an advertising professional working and living in Mumbai. I make moody surreal art on Photoshop with the images that are uploaded on the internet under CC0 license. I started exploring the world of Photoshop as an attempt to develop my skills and to form a cinematic universe where I could probably fit in. It’s been almost 4 months since I’ve been making art almost every day and, I feel like a magician.
While looking at your works, it has me thinking about the hard moments I’d lived and mostly to a combination of anxiety and joy. What do you feel creating these images and what message do you want to convey?
Whatever I make is a reflection of my thoughts and the condition I am in, like everyone else, I too have seen happy days and lived through the nights of utter darkness, it’s a strange form of reality and I think we all have to accept and live with it, I make these artworks because it’s the only form of expression that has really worked for me, it gives me calm. So whenever I make an artwork I convince myself not to feel a lot as it usually hampers the process of creation, the real feeling and joy arrives after I am done making it and the feeling is impeccable. My usual message is about human alienation, loss and loneliness, but then again it’s very subjective and I don’t want to put it across in any verbal manner to have a pre conceived notion or to put it the way I see things, I think everyone is going through pain they can’t take out and can’t talk about even with people they know, so you know? So, I guess I am trying to talk to their ghosts in my own way.
Why do you consider minimalism is the most complicated of all digital art? You once mentioned about this on an interview for Inspiro India.
My dad once told me that ‘It’s not what you say, but how you say that matters.’ I think, it’s an art in itself to do more with less. I believe it is a way of life.
Tell us about a real life experience that has inspired your work.
The lack of experience in real life has inspired my work.
Can you name us two artists you’d like to be compared to? Why?
I don’t know if I should compared to the legends, but Storm Thorgerson and Andrei Tarkovsky are those two artist who I admire a lot and who have given me inspiration in the recent times to make me feel honest about what I do. I honestly don’t know how to explain, but their work has played such an important role in my life, it’s alien yet human and I think that’s why I feel silently associated to it.
Nature plays an important role in your compositions. What other things do you find inspirational?
I think every day routine inspires me the most to make the art, there’s this certain lack of living from life that depresses me. Every day people walking their way on every day road for every day work to come back to their everyday partner to wake up again for another day, isn’t it what we signed up for?
We are all looking for a place where we can truly belong and be ourselves, maybe a parallel reality.
What would you feel if there is a parallel universe based on your images? Who would be the main character of this world?
We are all looking for a place where we can truly belong and be ourselves, maybe a parallel reality. It just calls us and tells us that it’s all going to be alright and a place we can revisit that we had abandoned as a kid. I remember this girl on Instagram messaged me saying that she felt like the main character of my artworks, all of them and honestly, I felt so happy that I connected with someone on this personal level via the medium of my art without ever meeting in person. People who are looking at my artworks and feel connected with it are the main character of my parallel universe, I am just a mere medium.
Did you ever dreamed about your images?
Almost every night. Some are nightmarish and some are blissful, but mostly I see this strange spectre of a figure in different forms lurking around me in the whispers of a burning forest. I am just witnessing everything.
Some of your works are accompanied with poetic excerpts from your unpublished fiction novel “The cold you, the cold me”. Tell us more about this and why don’t you consider in publishing your novel now?
I used to put the excerpts from the novel in my artworks, but now I don’t. I wrote the novel while I was working in my first job and I think that it’s funny how I changed as a person after writing the novel. It taught me a lot about who I was and what I am today. Now, I don’t feel the way I used to when I wrote it, I guess I’ve changed as a person, we all move on. It was a naïve attempt to be an author and I wrote it for someone I loved, but now it’s all gone. Now that I think about it, it just scratches the old wounds. I just want to be happy.
What programs do you use in order to process your images?
I use Photoshop to create the base image and sometimes Snapseed for additional treatment.
How long do you usually work on a piece?
I usually work on a piece for about 4 hours, every artwork demands its own time and attention. I’ve finished some good artwork in less than 10 minutes of time and some take more than a day. It all comes down to what I am planning to make and how good my computer is.
All images: (c) Pulkit Kamal
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