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Meet Amrita Chowdhury

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amrita Chowdhury.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Amrita. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
In every show that I do, patrons always want to know if I’ve had a formal education in art. No, I haven’t. My background is architecture! I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from The M.S. University of Baroda in Gujarat, India and went on to do my Masters at The University of Nottingham in the UK. Since then I’ve worked in London, Mumbai and Kolkata.

But art has always been a part of my life. From art classes in school to sketching anatomy and scale studies that we had to do as part of our college curriculum, I couldn’t seem to stop painting and I still can’t seem to stop painting. My career as a designer also helped. I was constantly keeping in touch with trends and commissioning local artists for interior design projects, which let me stay in touch with the art market. I was constantly inspired by the work around me an occasionally I would take part in art exhibitions. But I never found the courage to start painting full-time.

In 2017, as part of a fund-raising project for Syria, I did the #100daychallenge, 100 paintings in 100 days. It lasted a little over three months and all the money from the paintings I sold went to multiple relief organizations who were, at the time, working in Syria on the ground. It has so far been one of the best things I’ve ever done with my abilities. I started painting and people were interested in acquiring them.

Now art is almost a full-time occupation. My work has been in art shows in London, Mumbai, Kolkata and now Texas! I’m gradually working towards collaborating with galleries and arranging my first solo show, which I hope will take place sometime in 2020.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It absolutely hasn’t! To be honest, I didn’t expect it to be a smooth road. I don’t come with a BFA or an MFA, so I can easily be considered an “outsider” artist. Very few galleries pay attention to outsider artists unless you’ve really worked at building a powerful body of work, collecting contacts, building a brand and a following.

The struggles can range from finding shows and juried exhibits that will consider your work worthy of inclusion, to finding patrons and collectors who are willing to invest in your work. It’s a painstakingly slow process, or at least, it has been slow for me. You have to stay atop of exhibition calls, magazine submissions, you have to network with interior designers and gallery owners and you have to build your brand on online platforms organically. And you have to be sincere and consistent about all of it, without getting bitter.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I’m a self-taught, contemporary abstract artist. I have worked and exhibited in London, Mumbai, Kolkata and Dallas. I am also the current editor of FAKE Art magazine. At its core, my work celebrates the existence and randomness of extraordinary human lives around us. It is inspired by the daily mundane, the occasional adventure, people and the built environment. My abstract style merges mark-making and shapes with ink detailing, which is reminiscent of architectural renderings.

Since March this year, that’s when I moved to the USA, I have strived to put out good work. I have been part of shows and magazine features and I have even launched a new art magazine that focuses specifically on emerging artists around the world and their works. I also conduct abstract art workshops for beginners and intermediary artists in the DFW area.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I could easily say something cliched like “Oh, every moment is a proud moment!” But there is one from recent times, that I’m especially proud of. I moved to America in March 2019. And when I did, I didn’t have my old paintings here, no one knew of me as an artist, and I didn’t have an American education, and I knew I had to build all my contacts from scratch. It felt overwhelming and I wondered if it would be easy making my mark in the art market here. But after I settled in, I bought my art supplies and started working on one or two pieces. As soon as I finished, I posted them on my social media and within a couple of days after posting, they were sold. Selling two paintings to strangers seems like a small thing now in retrospect, but at the time I was beaming with pride for the entire week!

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Amrita Chowdhury

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