At nine, when Sapna Dube submitted her arty projects at school, her teachers refused to believe that she’d done it all by herself. Since then, she grew up wanting to be an artist, traveling many paths till she reached there, but always, with a pen or paintbrush in hand.
This 36-year-old Bengalurean is now set for her first solo show called Technicolour Dreams and needless to say, it’s an ode to the city she lives in and loves – Bengaluru.
“In a way, it’s my ode to Bengaluru, its people and its folk art forms. A nostalgic look back at a time when there was a rangoli outside each house, kids watched Yakshagana performances on Doordarshan whether they liked it or not, slam books were more popular than Facebook and nobody was climbing ladders of the corporate kind,” she explains about the show for which she used a range of materials – everything from water colour brush pens and alcohol markers to archival inks.
Known for her unique style coupled with colours and intricacy, Sapna has been influenced by a number of artistes over time, and likes the works of KG Subramanyam, SS Kukke, KK Hebbar, Tracy Emin, Hariton Pushwagner and Gregory Crewdson. Immersing herself in art from an early age, she studied it from her artistic mother who had trained under SS Kukke, one of the founders of Chitrakala Parishath. “The hard part according to me is developing your own individual style, one that is uniquely yours. That is one of the most difficult tasks an artist has,” she confesses.
Explaining her art, Sapna believes that her visual and conceptual vocabulary has emerged through her focus on the points of intersection between excess, insatiability and introspection. That should certainly explain her art — a mix of geometry, pattern and repetition. “Having seen Bengaluru transition from being a pensioners paradise to the IT melting pot that it is today, I sometimes do wish time had stood still. Hence, the driving creative forces behind my work are consumerism, capitalism, modernity and the futility of our lifestyles.
My biggest inspiration of course is colour,” says the artist, whose life is as busy as her pieces too. When it’s not the paints that catch her attention, Sapna is a bookworm (and strongly recommends Paul Kalanithi’s memoir When Breath Becomes Air and David Brooks’ The Road to Character). She and her husband also unwind with foreign cinema and travel a lot gawking at art, that is, when her pets, blog and garden don’t take up the rest of her time. Her art show is on at the Venkatappa Art Gallery till May 1, from 10 am to 5 pm.