Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Interview as Art

Here is our 4th interview with Pallavi Gandhi 

1. What was your first work of art and how old were you?
Honestly! I don’t remember what I scribbled on the walls as a kid. I was always fond of drawing. As an adult, I’d say my 1st original work of art was a scenic collage I made when I was 21.

2. What did you do for fun when you were a teenager?
Read, read, and read! I read a lot of classics. Had a fantastic school library…stocked everything from Hardy Boys to Thomas Hardy….and played on the streets…was never really into organized sports

3. What and when was your first job?
At 22. Had just gone to Sydney to study, from my protective Delhi environment. Got paid for dropping off and collecting catalogues, door to door. Guess I picked up from where my 13 year old cousin left off! ; P

4. What was your first work that really pleased you as an artist?  
Instantly?!!? That’s only started to happen in the last 6-8 months. Technically though, ‘Over the Ruined Castle’ series was challenging. It was my 1st big art project. The outcome pleased many people. ; ) 
over the ruined castle: the blog

5. Who was the first artist to influence you?
Don’t remember artists names, but illustrators of books I read as a kid: Amar Chitra Katha and Chandamama that serialized folk tales and mythological epics Ramayan and Mahabharat. Growing up in the ‘80’s, book fairs were full of children’s stories from Russia and Eastern Europe, translated in English. Fantastic illustrations! Loved the stories!

6. Who were your favorite movie stars growing up?
Bollywood: Dharamendra, Vinod Khanna, Pradeep Kumar, Devanand
Hollywood: Gregory Peck, Christopher Reeves, Rex Harrison

7. What were your favorite TV shows growing up?
Trishna( a Hindi adaptation of Pride and Prejudice), Buniyaad, Hum Log, Sherlock Holmes, and of course Spiderman

8. Has your work gone up in price compared to when you first started?
Very slightly. Silver prices and consequently labour(due to inflation) has gone up. That’s a marginal increase in prices.

9. Where do you get your ideas?
Nature, social, political and emotional circumstances, though I try to not put a fullstop after interpreting reality. There must be hope at the end…something to smile about

the start of tuesday's woe

10. Who do you think is the best business artist in the world?
Any and many. Some want to be billionaires, some don’t. As long as people are happy with their journey at any point in time, they’re all best business artists.

11. Do you think that there are any art movements now?
Nowadays, every style is its own art movement. 

12. Do you think kids should get grants to decorate subways?
Absolutely! Everyone should, though kids should get priority some places. And why just subways…there are local council buildings and colony walls too

13. Have you or anyone you know been involved in street art?
No. In India this is not so common

14. Do you ever think about politics?
Often. I also feel I should be more involved in community programmes and initiatives. Ultimately, this is where strong and committed leaders will emerge from. I wish I didn’t procrastinate so much

15. What is your favorite color?
10 years ago it was red in all shades…now I just don’t know

16. Do you do all your own work, or do you have people working for you?
All of the metal work. I rarely use stones. Those then I give for setting in the market
...and spring surges forth
17. Do you have an interest in films or video?
Love them!! Especially the B&W ones; both in English and Hindi. And now we also have world cinema channels on cable. Yippee!!! Last watched a lovely docu, ‘Fidel: the Untold Story’. I can watch at least one movie everyday.

18. What kind of toys do you have?
Have some clay and wood ones, peculiar to the crafts of that particular region
terracotta horse from West Bengal

19. Do you have any habits you’d like to kick?
Wish I didn’t sleep so much 

20. What do you do when you’re not working?
Pray, listen to music, read (currently reading; the land of green plums), watch movies

21. Do you play any games?
Yeah! Mental games all the time. I trick myself into believing every morning that one day I’ll make money from this work that I do ; )
  i cd call it landscape it cd change again
22. How old were you when you got your driver’s license and is there a story attached to it?
18. Learnt to drive, got my license. Sat on it for 6 years. Took driving lessons again at 24. Been driving since. 

23. What time do you go to bed and what time do you get up (most of the time.)
No fixed time and no fixed time

24. How much time do you spend on the computer?
2-3 hours daily. I’m sure I could cut that time by half if the internet speed wasn’t so low

25. Do you watch TV, (if so, what are your favorites?)
Don’t watch soaps or reality shows. Only movies

26. What do you eat?

27. Do you believe in flying saucers?
Can’t say. Never seen one
linear tessellation bracelet
28. Do you believe in magic?
Any phenomena with a scientific basis is rational and justifiable. Difficult to believe is the eternity of life. Wish someone would prove that to me

29. Do you think Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone?
Don’t know

30. Do you look in the mirror when you get up?
Sure. When I wash my face

31. Do you think the world can be saved?
Yes and it all starts with friendship…for the sake of just that and not based on economic usabilitylovebird family

32. Do you think there should be censorship?
In my country, responsible censorship is required


  1. This is so much fun, to get to know everyone. Pallavi, your work is so amazing. I love knowing more about you.

  2. You know, I work away in my studio, and think what I think and I think that everybody thinks and sees things the way I do. Reading these interviews opens up whole new worlds! I love seeing all the different perspectives! Your work is beautiful Pallavi!
    Are you living in India now?

  3. thanx Mary! and Thankyou Evelyn! im really enjoying reading all the interviews..including mine(he he)..gets me bk to my prime point of why i'm doing this in the first place.
    i'm in India and yes it does open up whole new worlds! being part of such a generous online community has really given me a strong sense of belonging and i think i understand a li'l better today how art and culture bring people together.

  4. Pallavi, it's so great to get to know you better through this interview! Your work is so fresh and beautiful. I really appreciate the fact that we all can meet online and exchange our views although we're living so far apart!!

  5. thankyou Maria! yes i agree! its a great way to be connected..inspired and constantly learn from each's my lifeline ; )

  6. You put a smile on my face with your answers. Sweet and thoughtful and kind :) Your work reflects your personality and it is really joy getting to know you better.