About the Artist
RAJIVE ANAND is a graduate of Rhode Island School of Design (BFA Painting) and Rutgers University Mason Gross School of Art (MFA Painting). After graduation, Anand received a prestigious Fulbright travel fellowship to India. A seventeen-year veteran New York City public high school art teacher in the Bronx, Anand gives back to the culture by teaching the skills he has learned on his personal artistic journey to students of all ages. Anand has lectured and worked with traditional artists all over the world.
In between East and West, Anand strives to create a fusion of cultures within his paintings, sculptures, digital art, collage, and drawing, integrating aspects of his Indian heritage with his American sensibilities. "On the first sight of my painting, I strive to achieve the manic energy of a visual convulsion. A famous director once said, 'I try to blow up the world in the first ten seconds." Anand takes this approach with his paintings to capture peoples’ attention- an increasingly tall order in a world filled with visual distraction. "Popular culture and digital images are a veil that blankets our visual experience in the 21st Century." Anand seeks to lift that veil and reveal the archetypal meaning that lies beneath it. Anand's paintings counterbalance the explosive Western images of mass media with Tibetan Thangka painting, Tantric art, Khon mask making, Rajput miniatures, and other ancient Eastern contemplative art forms that have influenced Anand through his collaboration with masters in India and Thailand.
His powerful compositions are based on mathematical principles and engage the viewer with high contrast, intense colors and aggressive images. The figures in his art stare out directly at us; they challenge us to reflect. Although his work is autobiographical in nature and he frequently incorporates self-portraits, they lend themselves more to symbolic interpretation. “Every painting, by its nature, is a self portrait; a mirror. As the work progresses from blank canvas to a singular image over time, it gains clarity and approaches a sharper reflection of the world around.”
On many levels, Anand’s work is a direct confrontation; a constant endeavor towards freedom in the face of adversity. Anand’s artwork contains a strong undercurrent of struggle with the ugly or evil forces within the human condition. The artist addresses images and issues many prefer not to confront. An element of social consciousness coupled with an unflinching linear approach lends his work a meditative quality that connects with the viewer on a visual, emotional, and intellectual level. Looking at Anand’s intricate miniatures and his larger-than-life paintings is a process that unfolds through time. As we draw close to inspect the minute details that are rendered with jewel-like precision, the visual field of the canvas encompasses the periphery, encapsulating us in an immersive experience, like shifting gears in a speeding car.
Anand engages in the juxtaposition of symbolic forms. Through diverse cultural and historical art references, he imparts multiple layers of meaning in his work. He draws upon the wellspring of the human pysche and seeks to unlock aspects of it that exist within all of us, creating connections that transcend cultural boundaries. “My experiences are deeply personal, but are ones that are universal and human. Through my own experience, I strive to create art that is a reflection of all of us."