A Goan visual treat
From Visakhapatnam to Goa, Praveen Yarramilli is a digital artist based in Mapusa, whose artworks of Goa show a facet of the state with bare minimum colours but great expression. Café speaks to the artist about his works and how he translates the information overload into a simple image
Walking through the bustling Mapusa market, there are various vendors that have their own characteristics, which we often ignore in our hurry to purchase something and get back home. But when Praveen Yarramilli, an artist and designer who’s made Mapusa his home, came across these same people, he was inspired to work on a collection based on them. “When we went to the Mapusa market, we were transported to another world. It was so good to see the raw beauty of this place, the women beautifully dressed in their lovely sarees selling their home grown produce, the flower market, the fish market... I knew I had to tell this story through my work before most of this raw beauty is destroyed by commercial and capitalist thinkers that are unfortunately the decision-makers in our society,” says Praveen, who moved to Goa with his partner and their two dogs.
Praveen is a holder of a Master’s degree in Design Thinking from IIT Kanpur and his other interests include history and the evolution of humankind. He worked as a user experience (UX) designer at Yahoo India and has lived in Hyderabad, Kanpur, Bangalore and Gurgaon, before finally moving to Goa. “I consider my work to be a statement against the information overload that has come to disrupt and dominate every aspect of our lives. Through minimal style of expression and my love for rich colour, I bring to the fore only what is essential – without compromising on the aesthetics or originality of the subject,” says Praveen about his art. Though he has not yet had a solo exhibition in Goa, Praveen has been a part of the ‘The story of space’, a 10-day festival that explored space and its connections to science, philosophy, art and culture; the ‘Emerging Art Show’ hosted by The Village Studio Goa, Parra and more recently, the ‘Anticlockwise’ exhibition which exhibited the works of 30 young and talented artists from across India, curated by Shusha Oliveira and team. What made this 31-year-old to move to Goa? “I come from Visakhapatnam, which is located on the opposite end of Goa, on the eastern coastline of India. Every time I needed to feel connected to myself, I would ride down to the beach and find this instant peace and connection with nature and myself. I had taken it for granted back then and moved to a big city for work. What made me move to Goa is its natural beauty, the friendly locals and the need to get out of the mindless rut that comes with living in a big concrete city; the last one was a major reason to make the move. I never moved here with an intention to make artworks of Goa. I had finished my previous project in Gurgaon and took time off to make some art, something that I had always deeply wanted to get back to, and then Goa happened.” Living here for almost ten months, Praveen has worked on three collections, including the Mapusa Market. “I illustrated the daily life that I would come across on my way around town in the ‘Goa on the Surface’ series. The middle-aged man relaxing in his balcony, the women drying her cloths in the backyard, the architecture of the old Goan porto villas, a tree I had come across while walking my dogs... everything that caught my eye,” he says. But living in Goa, you cannot miss the numerous beaches and their glory, dotting the coastline. Praveen soaked in that experience too to create postcards like sceneries using minimum colours to tell the story. “My last artwork was a visual interpretation of sunsets on different beaches in Goa, right from Palolem in the south all the way up to Arambol in the north. I had so much fun doing this.” With the limited art space that Goa provides, he speaks about the challenges he faces when it comes to promoting his work. “I really never thought of selling my art at a gallery. The thought never crossed my mind until very recently. I had taken up a stall at the famous Saturday Night Market and sold prints to tourists there; I earned a living and had fun doing it. I met lots of interesting people in the process. The organising committee of the Iinternational Film Festival of India were kind enough to give me a stall at the film festival, my sincere gratitude to them. “More than art galleries, what I am looking for are honest artists, philosophers, scientists and normal people to hang out and talk with. That would be engaging. As far as promotion goes, I have found Instagram very handy. It has helped me show my work to a lot of people. Also, I would be happy to share my work at a meaningful gallery and have a dialogue around it. But I haven’t looked for any as yet.” Speaking about his future plans in Goa, Praveen says, “Currently, I am doing commission work as I have to earn a living. But on the side, I have started working on a series on Fontainhas that I am quite excited about. And meanwhile, it is our first monsoons here and it has poured in lots of new inspiration for me. So let’s see what comes out of it. I would also like to dig into the history and culture of Goa; I think that would make for some wonderful work too.”
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