“The notion of going into the work of ‘can this be done, or can this be done this way’ , is what I find to be perhaps the most inspiring.” – Chamel Raghu.
Why is it that humans so quickly jump from holding a strong sense of appreciation for one’s raw talent, to placing an obligatory production rate on it? How can we expect someone, or even to something to radiate provenance, if all we do is push, push and push? Isn’t it obvious that it can’t be heartfelt or authentic if forced to produce on a given cue?
“Demands for production are a great flattery for an artist, but I feel that if that added production is not truthful self-expression for the artist, that the art itself will seem contrived, forced, or inauthentic,” says Chamel Raghu, UT Alum and Austin Residing Artist.
Austinite Raghu, produces drawings and painting which stem from an organic realm, carrying a balance of both curvaceous, and geometric shapes. He depicts the complexity and depth of the human body using a strong transition of both delicate and bold lineage.
Raghu finds inspiration in ‘thinking outside of the box‘… literally.
“Though beauty is a source of inspiration, it is not the sole inspiration. In my opinion, what I produce is completely different from the notion of being constricted, it is an experiment of breaking constrictions,” says Raghu, “That, to me, is the challenge and excitement of working on a painting or drawing.”
And his art of broken barriers is noticed and sited sporadically by both Austin, and outside sourced publications. Though Raghu carries a low-key personality, the presence of his work is high on the radars of many; which can lead to negativity.
A Harvard Arts Review, entitled “Battle of the Prodigies”, classifies Raghu as a ‘modern day artist,’ comparing him on the same scale as Vincent Van Gogh. But soon enough in the review he is dubbed as being, “woefully unproductive,” due to his lack of published artwork in the art scene.
“My reaction to this label was at first frustration, but I understand their point of view,” says Raghu, “It is true, there is work I have not shared over the years but I would have liked maybe someone to ask me first before calling me unproductive.”
And when critiqued and constantly called out for lack of production, I couldn’t help but wonder if maybe Raghu is enticed to produce more — maybe this tough love technique really does work.
“It does not really encourage me to produce more as that is something that I do naturally. I just accept it for what it is; their opinion, however misinformed!”, says Raghu, “I believe that if an artist does what comes from their honest self-expression, whether they meet demands or not they will be happy with themselves regardless of who says what… positive or negative.”