Marvel at My World is the debut exhibition from artist Subhash Viman Gorania.
The exhibition centres on the influence of heroes in Subhash’s life, ranging from dance gurus to protagonists found in Hindu mythology and superheroes found in comics. We’re delighted to be presenting the exhibition at The Library of Birmingham from the 19th January 2024.
We spoke to Subhash ahead of the opening:
Can you walk us through your creative process, from conceptualisation to completion of a piece?
All my artworks try to show a story or narrative of some kind and I try to bring characters who are very similar or polar opposites together. I find these first then draw upon references and start outlining the structure digitally on an ipad in black and white. Once this process is complete I start adding in colour and really flesh out the characters.
How do you navigate challenges or creative blocks when they arise during the artistic process?
Everything in my life is all about trial and error, some of these have financial implications but I choose to make decisions which better the work going forward. There have been many times where I have drawn artworks which just did not make it. This was all part and parcel of the process of learning how to get better and better with the digital artform. Something my DYCP really helped me with.
Are there any artists, movements, or periods in art history that have significantly influenced your work?
I grew up in the 80’s/90’s so we didn’t have phones or digital technology back then. It was all toys, computer games, comics and tv cartoon shows. This really allowed our minds to wonder and get more creative. I really draw upon these experiences in my work and the influences all these iconic characters had in my life. I was bullied for a long period of my life and really looked up to superheroes growing up which helped me get through a lot of rough times.
Have you encountered any memorable reactions or responses from viewers to the exhibition?
Young children are fascinating and they tend to be more wowed by it which is great. When you see your favourite superheroes in ways you would not have otherwise it really helps open up the imagination.
The exhibition is inspired by your children, who are their role models?
I would like to say me, but if you asked my son at the moment it is all about spider-man. They are both 3 and 5.
In the exhibition you draw a lot of parallels between superheroes and Hindu Gods, what would you say some of the similarities are?
They both represent the same thing, those with higher powers doing good to heal the world from bad. Same ideas, different worlds.
What relevance does Andy Warhol have to the exhibition?
I was studying art at De Montfort University Leicester to become an artist of some kind. During my 2nd year I was attacked and hospitalised. This caused me to fall behind at Uni and eventually drop out. The last thing I studied before I dropped out was Andy Warhol and that became the last memory of my dream which was shattered. I then eventually found my feet in dance and this became my new career path. I had worked with many teachers and choreographers who helped shape me to become the artist I am today. I wanted to thank them in the exhibition and what better way to do it than in the style of Andy Warhol. By doing this I feel I have come full circle, thus connecting both worlds together.
How has your dance practice fed into your visual art?
I did a biographical piece titled, Classical Encounters, which looked at my journey into dance and how being bullied played a part in this. While doing the show which was an hour long, I also painted live on stage. The artwork was painted upside down and in the end I turned it around to show the final product. It was a really special moment in the show. The direction for this show was done by the amazing Gary Clarke and featured choreographies by Chitraleka Bolar, Rukmini Vijayakumar, Preeti Vasudevan and myself.
If you could describe the exhibition in three words, what would they be?
Marvelous, colourful and thought-provoking.
Who would enjoy Marvel at My World?
All ages from children right through to adults and families.
If you were a marvel character who would you be and why?
Franklin Richards I guess but he’s not well known. Having the power to see the past, present and future is crazy. If we are talking on a mainstream level, then it has to be Spider-man of course 🙂
And finally, what’s your favourite Marvel film?
I have so many, we as a family are huge Marvel fans and have done the entire cinematic universe in order.
All 3 Guardian of the Galaxies
All the Spiderman…