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 to characterize the simple beauty in things, 

        and the many answers it holds.

Statement of Purpose 

Kavi Srinivasaragavan



Deeply observant, I’ve spent hours taking in and drawing from life starting at a very young age, often losing hours focusing on the most minute of events and reflecting on them as though they were operatic. They were to me, anyway. I’ve grasped so much of this so vividly that representing through memory has become something of second nature. I remember my first explorations of the figure were themselves from memory. (Even hailing from a reasonably progressive Indian family, although the representation of the human figure was never looked down upon or uncelebrated when presented in the form of art, it was not actively encouraged or sought to be an essential part of an artistic education. Then again, none of my family members were at all serious artists.) To be clear, this isn’t a claim to say I have a photographic memory or that I could produce images in the style of photographic realism. Instead, I intuitively understood the mechanics of a motion (visually) or the patterns of growth in what I observed. This type of understanding made it easy for me to create representational images that contained the essence of what something was in its entirety rather than becoming a dry copy of what it looked like—often being able to do this with an economy of mark-making and forms. Although I’ve gathered many technical strengths from heroes I’ve had in my journey thus far, an unrelenting attraction to my initial stripped, bare, and perhaps naive frame of reference—along with a strong desire to share with those willing to see —has brought me to the path I am on now: one defined by an obsession to produce art in the service of clarifying the perception of reality and actively against its convolution. 


This, I feel, is especially difficult and meaningful in our era, where we are surrounded by varying degrees of over-thought and sophistication amidst a culture in which we have learned to look too fast and perceive very little. Most attempt to achieve a decent living, while some try to answer big questions and inevitably look for their answers in the wrong places. All this together creates chaos of opinions and perspectives that we then project onto others, discuss with those who have come to similar conclusions, and ultimately hail as the most rational, sensible, and even, in some cases, sane or healthy way to conduct our lives. The idea of perception itself has become wholly convoluted. And upon expressing this truth of our world, which each of us can feel and opinionate on, I have also staked my own claim to validity—a matter of circumstance that I feel can only be solved non-lexically and through a very conscious effort to remove one’s identity from their work so that it may perhaps act as an honest reflection. As a mirror.


A mirror has no discernible opinion of its own, but its intent forces the viewer to gaze at oneself. Through this, the mirror or object achieves something that one person alone cannot hope to instill in another: a change in perspective. Any change in one’s perception, no matter how minute, can only come by willingly. Any attempt to force such a response by confronting them with our own views is futile and, in many cases, counterproductive. In this way, my work strives to imbibe the characteristics of a mirror; providing an image conveyed through my visual language but adhering to a sense or feeling of reality, enabling the viewer to believe that which is presented to them is their own—searching the image as they would the world around them and discovering details and suggestions as if of their own volition. Through this process, my work seeks to force self-reflection and contemplation on the basis of no particular opinion but with a specific intent: to urge the viewer to take that same intent to the world outside the painting and to observe and reflect on their experience of that reality with more clarity.


I continue to explore these parameters and test how closely I can fulfill my expectation to create a collection of single images. Images that are unclouded by symbolism, unclouded by destructive or constructive abstraction, unclouded by the collage of other images upon it, and most importantly, unclouded by a need to express my own opinions and perception of the world—of the magnificent and sublime beauty in the mundane and every day, curious and extraordinary, hidden and coy alike. Portrayed honestly through memory and to act as a mirror.

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