December 6, 2019

Artist Interview – Vinothini Satchithananthan


Vinothini Satchithananthan

Name: Vinothini Satchithananthan
Location: California

Brief artists statement:
I find drawing as a powerful tool to express and calm my inner self. Drawing is a way for me to have access to something that has no welcoming through any other process. It could grant access to a fragment of my history, my ever-changing state of liveliness or a secret that I’ve never told anyone before. My drawings are very intuitive. I come to the paper without any conceived ideas beforehand. The paper invites me and scares me at the same time. Drawing is one of the things that I am passionate about.

How did you become an artist? Did you always dream of a life in the art-world?
I am not a professional artist. Though I was drawing occasionally in the past using cheap watercolors, it was a later discovery in my life. Drawing is one of the things in my life that I cannot live without. It helps me to express and heal.

Do you work as an artist full-time? Describe your typical day. Do you have a routine?
I am not a full-time artist. My typical day usually starts with an hour and a half of Yoga practice, breakfast and my day would begin from there. Though I do not have a schedule or studio, I try to find some time amongst other things to draw. I used to draw on small scale but currently I enjoy making marks on larger formats. I use the kitchen or living room floor.

Which historical and contemporary artists do you refer to most often? How are you influenced by their work?
Eve Hesse, Helen Frankenthaler, Emily Carr, Ruth Asawa, Hung Liu, Terry Winters, Anjolie Ela Menon, Dhruvi Acharya, N. Pushpamala, Adrian Piper, Nancy Spero, Kiki Smith, Tracey Emin, Louise Bourgeois, Yayoi Kusama and many more.

They are all amazing and have an excellent body of work. They influence me in many different ways. There is the instant message or feeling that is communicated via a piece. I think it is very important that each and every artist has something to give or communicate. Every time I see something I like in a piece it makes me happy. There’s the invisible thread that connects all beings. One can can feel it in art as well, like in the other forms.

What are the other influences on your work?
Art history, art magazines and blogs, critiques and encouragement.

What was the last exhibition you visited?
Richard Serra exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.
What is your favourite art gallery?
Pro Arts, Oakland, Barefoot Gallery in Colombo, Sri Lanka, SFMoMA, MoMA in New York City, Berkeley Art Museum, and a few galleries on Minna Street in San Francisco.

What are your experiences of the ‘art-world’ and the business of art?
That’s a hard question. Well, art world is great but it is horrifying!

Do you have a quotation that you keep coming back to and that keep you going? Have you a motto that gets you through?
Never give up.

Which historical artist do you think is over-rated? Why?
Picasso is the one. He did do some beautiful work. But I am really tired of seeing his work cramped. It is just too much. The art world needs to focus more on the living contemporary artists.

Do you or would you use assistants to make your work?
No, but I would like a studio space with lots of natural light – if you call that an assistant.

Do you use social networks? if so, how and which ones do you find most useful?
Facebook, it gets weird sometimes as I get friend requests from strangers and the good thing about it is that you don’t have feel bad about rejecting a friend request from someone you don’t know.

Which artist should we all look up immediately? What art magazines, blogs or sites should art lovers be looking at?
Aritsts: Jess von der Ahe – she creates with blood; I like the boldness of her work. Sky Pape, Annie Vought, Zina Al Shukri, Julia Goodman, Judi Pettite, Jennie Braman……oh I can go on and on.

Drawing Center’s viewing program. MoMA – their permanent collection of works on paper. Drawings and notes blog.

Magazines: Arts Asia Pacific, Art News, Hand Eye, Art Nexus, Art in America, Art ltd., Art Australia.

Finish this limerick: There once was an artist from …… Sri Lanka.


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