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Pallavi Singh on challenging beauty standards & gender roles via Art

Watch & Listen to this podcast Episode.

In this new episode of the Arts to Hearts Podcast, hosted by Charuka Arora, we have an interview with artist Pallavi Singh. Pallavi shares her personal journey as an artist and how she explores the grooming culture of men in Indian society.

During our conversation, Pallavi opened up about her experiences in art school and the challenges she faced in the art world. She reflects on how her work has evolved over the years and the importance of questioning societal norms and expectations. Pallavi’s art aims to challenge these ideas and provoke thought.

Pallavi delves into the concept of men wearing jewelry and ornaments, explaining that it was once normalized in history and mythology. However, colonization brought about a change in perception. She highlights how men in Indian culture used to wear kadas, rings, and chains, but these practices became associated with femininity along the way. Pallavi also mentions that the act of men wearing nail polish and mehndi (henna) still exists in some marriage cultures in India.

Through her art, Pallavi strives to present everyday moments from people’s lives with a twist, challenging the stereotypes and facades associated with masculinity. By using simple language and relatable themes, she hopes to engage people from all walks of life and spark conversations about our preconceived notions.

Don’t miss this episode as we delve into Pallavi Singh’s creative journey and her unique perspective on Embracing Change and Challenging Societal Expectations Through Art. Tune in now to expand your horizons and explore the power of art!

TimestampSummary
00:01.16Introduction and discussing the current mood
00:20.26Reflecting on a recent breakthrough in her work
02:15.53Introducing herself and her background in art education
04:09.30Sharing the experience of participating in a residency program
05:05.64Discussing the questions and challenges faced during the residency
06:20.36Describing the specific residency program at Coach Code
07:39.94Explaining the living arrangements and the intense artistic environment
08:19.81Reflecting on the benefits and impact of the residency experience
08:39.66Conclusion of the conversation
08:21.14Pallavi’s experience with the Indian arts school system
09:26.87Lack of guidance in writing grant letters and applications
11:52.12Difficulty in articulating her own work of art
12:59.27Improved opportunities and exposure for students now
14:09.62The advantage of having time to figure things out
14:29.93Charukaarora’s interest in discussing gender roles
15:45.68Pallavi’s work on men’s desire for grooming and beautification
16:19.54Pallavi’s observations of men’s behavior in salons
17:16.49Men’s hesitancy to admit going to salons for grooming
17:16.49Observing women’s reluctance to admit to self-care routines.
18:05.50Women’s beauty routines are often criticized and shamed.
19:01.79The difficulty of focusing on a subject matter like this.
20:14.72Validation and fears around pursuing this idea.
21:11.42Women commenting on men’s beauty routines.
21:30.19Initial reactions and impressions from the subjects of the artwork.
23:22.81The controversy and criticism surrounding the artwork.
23:49.34Discovering the term “metrosexuality” and reaching out to Mark Simpson.
25:06.35Communication with Mark Simpson and sharing of artwork.
26:13.63The normalization and changing conversation around gender and beauty.
26:33.24Introduction
26:42.21Discussion about experiences
27:20.57Creative process and personal experiences
28:01.84Society’s expectations and stereotypes
29:11.61Personal experience with a mole
30:09.92Acceptance of personal appearance
31:31.60Gender roles in art
32:53.20Progress and normalization of diverse identities
33:58.75Uncomfortable with public exposure
35:05.83The responsibility of painting and understanding stereotypes
35:44.79Initial acceptance and validation as an artist
37:05.50Initial mixed response to her work on metrosexuality
38:03.23Change in approach to focus on grooming culture
39:01.87Evolution of feminine aspects in her work
40:08.50Theatrical approach to creating art
41:14.00Men also have femininity and softness
42:19.30Reflecting society and questioning gender roles
43:30.14Art as a way to empower and normalize narratives
44:51.83Historical context of gender norms in Indian culture
45:26.55Changing perception of men’s jewelry and ornaments
45:35.58Po Po is good for eyes, became more aesthetic
46:02.24Men putting henna and nail polish is common in India
46:56.54Masculine energy and facade in art
47:59.92Aim is to put basic activities with a twist
48:43.42No new projects revealed, stay tuned
49:25.23Find Pallavi’s work on art heritage gallery, artsy, Instagram, and website
51:05.72Thank you and closing remarks
[TRANSCRIPT]
**** – (): 00:01.16
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Okay, welcome to the podcast ah palavi. How are you doing.
**** – (): 00:06.36
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): I’m doing great I’m happy in a happy mood. But yeah, because yeah because I I was working on a piece and I’m able to figure out like I was stuck for some time and.
**** – (): 00:09.17
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Ah, that is amazing. That’s that’s a plus one already and I’m very excited.
**** – (): 00:20.26
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Oh that moment.
**** – (): 00:24.41
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yeah, so yeah today I’m quite like yeah in a relaxing mood and a happy mood at least I’m able to figure out like where I am right now in that piece that particular work and yeah.
**** – (): 00:31.54
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): I like that? Yeah and I think since then I got you on a good time lucky for me like I’m very excited to have you like I Just told you you Um, we don’t as often have so many like even though I.
**** – (): 00:36.60
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yeah, and.
**** – (): 00:45.76
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): With my full heart try to bring as many people from other parts and like you know have a very diversified mix. So every time we’re bringing a different mix so you view you know we have people from us. We have people from Africa Southeast Asia india all of the spots. So I’m very excited because this is home. And you are an artist who works in India we not only share our country but we also share our city. You’re also based out of New Delhi and what’s particularly interesting is that you and both we both of us have um, particularly I think we started a creative careers at least entered the market on pretty much the same time.
**** – (): 01:21.65
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Easy.
**** – (): 01:22.56
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Since then you’ve been doing some incredible work I think your subject matter has always been a subject of intrigue for me and I’m very interested in learning more about that. But like I said you know we’ve been in the same rooms I’ve seen your work and I’ve seen your journey from where we started to do you showing your work at some amazing places. You have all so much. You know practice has evolved and I’m sure there’s so much to unpack in that process. So Of course we’re looking at that. Um, but also like I said to you sometimes you know you know each other I know your name I know what you do I We’ve been in the same room if not at the same time but I really don’t know you and this is an attempt.
**** – (): 01:54.75
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um.
**** – (): 01:59.26
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Are.
**** – (): 02:00.00
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): In of course me learning more about you and you know and also sharing that with our audience in that process. So let’s begin with you introducing yourself for everyone who’s listening how what would you like to say who you are what you do.
**** – (): 02:15.53
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): So yeah, um, ah you would say that my name is palaviingh and I am an indian artist and so my education and art has been like in India in Delhi. So I’ve completed my bachelors and masters.
**** – (): 02:18.50
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): H.
**** – (): 02:32.80
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Both in like in painting from college of art delhi and in like in 2011 I completed my masters and from then from there onwards the journey started into the real world of art because college is kind of like a very safe zone for you.
**** – (): 02:33.30
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Now.
**** – (): 02:43.86
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, you.
**** – (): 02:49.74
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): And you just don’t you know you have to make art and just that but the survival and other things. The competitions those many things you you never like you know you don’t even think about that much till you enter the real place. So.
**** – (): 02:59.98
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, and I’m very interested talking about this because I think so far we are both on the same tangent I’ve had people from of course India but we’ve I think we’ve I’ve never been on either. You know we’ve always been on different stages and I’ve very different I have had.
**** – (): 03:08.44
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, of.
**** – (): 03:16.27
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um.
**** – (): 03:17.74
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): My own experience and I’m excited to hear I don’t know I want to see how your experience has been. What is your lens if you’re coming from the same time. Um, how much commonality do we have and in our experiences and probably it’ll also give you viewers a more holistic approach to different perspectives.
**** – (): 03:19.23
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Says.
**** – (): 03:27.80
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Is he.
**** – (): 03:37.42
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yeah, it does I Hope it does.
**** – (): 03:37.78
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Is yeah I know I hope and I know it. Ah so you start came out 2000
**** – (): 03:45.90
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): So yeah, eleven so I was out and and yeah, so during that time period Yeah I was Lucky. So. My first experience was in the coach I was lucky to make it to piers in 2011 and yes and that was. I was lucky I was very happy. Yes I Cracked Coach ah pierces residency. But that was a big blow on my face also because because ah you know far like what you like.
**** – (): 04:09.30
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Why still.
**** – (): 04:17.64
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): For ah, 4 years is your bachelor’s at 2 years is your master’s like 8 years it’s like okay you you’re making art. But then yeah, you’re a bubble you’re making us you are thinking but might be. You’re not thinking on those tangents lines. Sometimes it’s like okay, you’re just making art. You are happy about it doing it. But when i.
**** – (): 04:22.32
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, in and above it.
**** – (): 04:37.42
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Ah, came to like when I did the coach thing. Yeah, it was like a serious thing you’re doing. You’re not, youre know mean and yes and I realized lot lot many things because for the first time I think I was ah facing the questions which was like which I know it existed. But.
**** – (): 04:56.13
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): What what word was questions like what.
**** – (): 04:56.48
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): I Never paid so attention to it. So yeah, it was say it was. It was a very simple. It’s like why you’re doing this Why you’re only interested in doing this. Yeah, these are the very basic questions but because as an artist we love doing slip somethings. We don’t.
**** – (): 05:05.64
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Okay.
**** – (): 05:12.44
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Active.
**** – (): 05:14.63
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Actually dwell into those questions. Yeah, like why particularly this not that why you so much interested. What will happen if you do this and if you don’t do that So those were some of the questions I was and I was like totally why that asking me I just like doing this. This is what like this is what.
**** – (): 05:17.34
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): I.
**** – (): 05:33.32
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, yeah, yeah.
**** – (): 05:33.74
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Something I’m seeing and I’m making it and I was I was like totally you can say naep person. But yeah, but actually that experience. Yeah, it grilled me but it actually taught me a lot to face the whole you know.
**** – (): 05:45.60
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, it’s maybe.
**** – (): 05:50.25
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): How to face this whole art world or things and of course to think more about my own practice that why I’m doing this. The question was why I’m doing this was like seriously I took that one in a but yeah, but but I would say as a team they were like very supportive.
**** – (): 05:57.80
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah.
**** – (): 06:07.54
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): And they really helped me out in you know, clearing my thoughts and just helping me to understand more like yeah I I was very nervous during that I think it’s one and a half month resident two months residency I was nervous I was even crying it so it was coachrch pice. So it is basically.
**** – (): 06:20.36
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Ah, which which residency was this okay na graduates and where was this.
**** – (): 06:26.49
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): But the fresh ah fresh out you know, post graduateduate student. Yeah yeah, so it was in daily. It was a a coach artists association in Kiki and sa keith you remember it’s just opposite to the yeah so it’s internationals. Okay.
**** – (): 06:35.72
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Okay I didn’t come from Del I didn’t come from delhi at that point. So probably I wouldn’t have heard about it.
**** – (): 06:46.23
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Okay, so it’s an international association and so they have this one residency which is for the young artist who are recently pass out from the just their first graduation or graduation and they have this very competitive. Yes code.
**** – (): 06:52.70
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Okay, oh you’re talking about code and I’m listening coach and I’m like I don’t know who’s code who Coach is oh code code. Yes, yes course code code does something incredible work. Yeah, or.
**** – (): 07:05.25
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): And no no coach code at this yeah code? Yeah, yeah, so that was like my first experience and first built together and yeah, it made me like yeah I need to like ah you know tighten my belt.
**** – (): 07:11.80
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Okay, maybe but.
**** – (): 07:17.49
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): But even though that was that was still a lot more local um a lot more um, still homelike because it’s still using the same still.
**** – (): 07:27.61
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): It actually it was it was a home like because it wasn’t daily but till that time I had no experience I like but but we have to stay at their place. Whatever the place they have occur and then it’s like five five I think they take usually take 5 artists.
**** – (): 07:39.94
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah, residents none here I am.
**** – (): 07:45.67
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, that was a different experience. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
**** – (): 07:46.00
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Because in my time it was 5 artists 1 curator and living together and for 24 yeah and for 24 as you are surrounded with questions and many things and art and art and art and art. So that experience was ah very different for me. The questions that were coming the you know it was like ah your mind is totally on that heated table where you are continuously being grilled and continuously being questioned and it was it was a goodces because it makes you more aware of your own work your own practice.
**** – (): 08:19.81
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): It also breaks that bubble for you like sometimes I think the more the sooner the you know the sooner you break that bubble that oh I know everything now I’ve done my a I’ve done my um, all of everything I think I needed to aspire and like now I know everything and I’m set and.
**** – (): 08:21.14
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): But yeah, it’s it was a for me I think yeah, definitely.
**** – (): 08:39.66
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Now people will come to we in and and you come out of it and I’m like okay here it is now you tell me where do you stand and I think it also helps you work harder. Ask you know tell me about something How is your experience even in. Um, this is question that we really discuss in different parts of the world. How the education system is.
**** – (): 08:43.49
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, yeah.
**** – (): 08:55.36
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): And.
**** – (): 08:59.18
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): How did you feel being and now today you show your work and I I know you’ve been to verand you’ve been not only in domestically but also done several things and expose yourself in an international market. So if you look at things today. Ah, how do you think your experience with.
**** – (): 09:03.31
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): And.
**** – (): 09:17.19
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Indian Art school system was what what did you like and if you think there was something did you think something was missing. Um, if so.
**** – (): 09:26.87
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): See there were many things which were missing in the Indian Arts schools but ah, especially in my time nowadays I think the school the colleges are doing very.
**** – (): 09:34.14
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Me.
**** – (): 09:36.49
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Good job with the kids because they are somewhere preparing them the opportunities they are receiving when they’re doing their graduation or post graduation is very much in um, in my time it was not that measured was it was literally like okay you finish your post graduation then you start applying for certain you know, grants or risk and nobody was.
**** – (): 09:40.30
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Amazing. Yeah.
**** – (): 09:51.34
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah guy. Yeah.
**** – (): 09:53.54
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Actually even telling us how to even write a grant letter or a yeah application. So nothing was told to us so it was almost like a wide board for you and you were just figuring out on your own they were hits and there were trials misses and everything was happening. So yeah, ah but I think the 1 thing with.
**** – (): 10:02.10
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Not.
**** – (): 10:13.45
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Sure oh I think my institution taught me was that to keep on hardworking. Yeah, keep on that like keep on working don’t ah just don’t get like you know, ah disappointed from all this thing and stop working like sometimes people do that is good also it depends upon for India.
**** – (): 10:16.66
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Need to point m.
**** – (): 10:26.33
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah.
**** – (): 10:30.96
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): But what I realize it you it somehow set the ah what you call the pattern for you like yeah if you’re going because yeah, giving you that so it it became a habit of me that have to sit in a studio I have to work whether something is happening or not happening I have to like continue to keep on working so in that manner. Yes.
**** – (): 10:36.98
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, and there’s a momentum.
**** – (): 10:43.30
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Or not yeah.
**** – (): 10:50.54
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um I think it just ah, made me more routine and regime thing it said and yes it was and college was fun for me also because I was meeting people from very different background very different mindset. Also so that was ah and the way.
**** – (): 10:56.91
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): 3
**** – (): 11:08.56
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): People were thinking and creating pieces of work so that was also very interesting for me to see. Um, yeah, that was I would say that that what college or the positive thing was about but yeah, ah though I would say that the miss where the I think the misses happened was that it didn’t.
**** – (): 11:26.47
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): What do.
**** – (): 11:27.80
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Daughters like when you’re once out how you’re going to face the yeah face the world or art world or what are the questions you’re going to face. Um, how to write things. Yeah, how to even articulate your own ah work of art because that was not taught to us and that was like I was at that.
**** – (): 11:39.76
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, 1
**** – (): 11:45.50
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): I Think that was the one point I was very disappointed because um I was ah ah, observing some of the few artists and they were like so good with it and I was like I am making a good piece but I just don’t know like okay these are the questions. These are the things nobody ah told me to ever do that and now I’m now I’m here.
**** – (): 11:45.16
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Ring in.
**** – (): 11:52.12
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): I Don’t know how to figure this hurt.
**** – (): 12:00.60
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): And yeah.
**** – (): 12:05.30
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): And these questions are coming I don’t know what to do? So yeah, that was something yeah I would like to say it’s it’s much better in today’s time because the way. Ah you see students prepare.
**** – (): 12:05.94
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah.
**** – (): 12:15.34
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, and I think even today’s time ah I feel like the biggest difference is you no longer dependent on what you’re being taught today’s time I think we all can teach so much.
**** – (): 12:27.30
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): A.
**** – (): 12:32.42
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): To ourselves like us I think I teach every every other day myself something I’ve never figured out and I’m like well wow this is like you know, just how about we were speaking that if you’re interested in something you can figure it out. It may take a little bit longer or it may take even way shorter because you’re not. You know you’re not wasting your time around things and you’re really focused. Yeah I think in the biggest advantage today today is that even if you don’t have access to something and within your systems you all, there’s everything now there take your own figure. It.
**** – (): 12:53.20
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, fold the.
**** – (): 12:59.27
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, yeah, true. Ah true I Totally agree on that point and plus I think the opportunities they are receiving the things you know something or the other thing is happening now. So the exposure they’re receiving is I mean I get I am like why didn’t.
**** – (): 13:05.54
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah, you know is a good. Yeah yeah middle. Yeah yeah.
**** – (): 13:16.89
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Happened in our time why it is happening now I mean I always feel a feel like but then it’s okay, it’s a time thing and everyone is doing. It’s ah it’s a long journey. Yeah.
**** – (): 13:25.56
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, we all have a have all advantage advantages and timings and disadvantage learnings I think we all if I think um I was reading this somewhere and I really like I was listening to another interview from an artist I I don’t remember the source but this was um, how. He was sharing about how it is important for artists to not get success because in today’s time what’s happening is a lot of young artists are getting so much visibility very instantly and it is 1 thing to have that kind of visibility but there’s another thing to get the ball rolling and look to sustainability and then to.
**** – (): 13:53.26
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Is.
**** – (): 14:03.69
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): You know there’s so many things that hardships and that ah the early years where you you just you get that time to figure it out like not only like things but also yourself and you become you have a stronger ground and things don’t move you as much but when you get too much um eyes too soon. Ah you.
**** – (): 14:09.62
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, and.
**** – (): 14:20.96
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): And.
**** – (): 14:22.96
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Have a groundwork to rely on because you’ve not you didn’t get the time to get your roots into it. So it’s you all have a we all have a you know the minus okay tell me something then um, what was your input and like your perspective when you actually you know started.
**** – (): 14:29.93
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, and yeah, it doesn’t.
**** – (): 14:42.17
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): And another another okay I have another girl I’ll ask this. You know we’ve had several guests I myself my work is from the female case I I’m a hundred percent woman who you know everything I do is from a woman’s perspective I’ve not really had a lot of people who you know who subject matter.
**** – (): 14:57.90
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um.
**** – (): 15:01.15
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Is from the opposite chatter which is the male perspective or like you know with your work I’m so I’m particularly interested in first. Um I talk about gender roles. My work is about gender role. But I think like.
**** – (): 15:02.56
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um.
**** – (): 15:18.44
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): I reflect it in a very different way versus when you are doing it. It’s a very different narrative and a very different Experience. So First My very fundamental question. A lot of your work is about um you know, Um, What do you call it? Oh God I Forgot the word. Um. A lot of your work is about um you know men finding their Um, what do you call it? What is that word is co god.
**** – (): 15:45.68
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Ah, desire for booming or betification.
**** – (): 15:48.65
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yes, yes, Yes, yes, and you’re a female right? So A how did that come to you because it’s it’s It’s probably not an experience that you’ve lived. Ah. You know it’s always easier something that we’ve experienced and okay now we are processing what got you there and how is it relate like is it something like a ah comment or your own relationship with gender role.
**** – (): 16:19.54
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): So actually you know what happened? um I tell you um incidents in a bits and pieces format. So what happens to um so there was like the people. Ah you can say the men.
**** – (): 16:23.48
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yes.
**** – (): 16:34.76
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah.
**** – (): 16:35.84
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Near in my circle so when they used so during in 2011 of 1011 there was a like I think a unicx saloon started booming a lot. Yeah yeah concept of it. Yeah, so i.
**** – (): 16:43.27
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, there were a lot of female salons and then there were male salons with a lot of the unisex salons came in.
**** – (): 16:55.99
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Ah, they’re like okay they are going but they’re not open about it or they even hide the ah the small recepts and all so that made me very cute.
**** – (): 16:58.71
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, yeah, yeah, actually men were very shy about um, grooming and they weren’t um or are you getting a facial done or who goes to sp who goes to a parlor or who goes.
**** – (): 17:14.60
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, yeah, yeah, yes, so that’s that’s soft that idea that you know and when you ask them, they were not telling no no, no something just.
**** – (): 17:16.49
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): It’s for women and they were very of course this is a gender based which is not as common today.
**** – (): 17:30.77
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): You know, went all like this and all and I was like okay but why they are not why they are not able to say that yes I went to the saloon for getting this facial done or anything for hair for you. So that that thing really striked me and I was like it’s very easy to.
**** – (): 17:36.80
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah.
**** – (): 17:49.53
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Comment on woman or she takes a lot of time to get ready. But you if if yeah, but if.
**** – (): 17:50.37
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): And yeah, take a lot of pride in being low maintainance and also vanity They like they like women are being shame for like looks and vanity and having self too self involved. Let’s say.
**** – (): 18:05.50
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yes, so and in fact, the reality is that they’re also taking equal time because I saw I saw people near me like they were forming their hair. They were doing the putting the cream. So if you say it’s a very ah low maintainance so form of beautification. But yeah.
**** – (): 18:08.82
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah.
**** – (): 18:13.39
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah.
**** – (): 18:23.33
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Doing that you you are taking time you want to take care of yourself. So That’s somewhere I think that was the point or that was the incidence that strike me and I said I was like I want to explore this area I Want to start with So for me, it became like a. Daily observation thing. It’s like I’m I’m searching people who are near me I’m trying to um, get inspired from their life and I’m I’m working on this. So.
**** – (): 18:50.37
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Okay, tell me something 1 quick question when you’re doing a subject matter as this and making a you know making pretty art is always like a easy decision. It’s like okay I like this like you know it’s also a very therapeutic process in that sense.
**** – (): 19:01.79
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, so.
**** – (): 19:06.49
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Are.
**** – (): 19:08.27
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Your your work is pretty today but the subject matter when you’re focusing on ah on an uncle pulling his hair or like you know, but not only about pretty or not pretty aesthetics. Um, subject matter in itself is a very difficult 1
**** – (): 19:18.24
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, and.
**** – (): 19:26.78
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): And did you have like at that point were you thinking about? oh you know is it Did you have any thoughts because it’s not as common and probably that is what has also peaked a lot of interest for you. But it’s like did you have your fears that.
**** – (): 19:37.22
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, I mean.
**** – (): 19:43.69
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Okay, this could be how do you validate this thought that this is an idea want to pursue and it it becomes a major part of your life and your work or it was like okay now I’m I’m just I’m intrigued and I’m I’ll pay something and okay.
**** – (): 19:57.20
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Actually I know it’s not common, but it became common for me point was it point was so simple like and seeing this thing happening like almost like in a one week or two weeks it became a very common thing for me and people I think it was curiosity like people hiding it made me more and.
**** – (): 20:14.72
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): No.
**** – (): 20:15.97
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Interested in doing that and plus I um I I mean I started. You can say it was a fun. It was enjoyment to see that. Okay, this is how they’re doing things and and then you know, just um and seeing the female counterpart doing the same thing. So yeah, it it was. Something which was a very interesting for me to put both the genders on the same platform but 2 different set of rules or 2 different set of of you know, ah comments are being applied to both the so.
**** – (): 20:45.33
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, and I why this idea of um, actually you know it’s traditionally it’s a lot of men commenting on women um putting them under under scrutiny and highlighting them and you know going under their skin but also and ah, what fun would that be for a woman to comment on a man. And then you know put him under a scrutiny and like okay what are you doing? Are you putting that on yourselves.
**** – (): 21:11.42
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): So Actually what happened like so till that time I was actually somewhere um I was painting it from my observation and things and I was like okay I’m doing this because I’m seeing it and it’s just that for me and woman. But actually enjoying the work. What I was doing like the people the female you know?? Ah, the vistas who used to come and see but men were not enjoying it.
**** – (): 21:30.19
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, this get ah of course of course that’s pretty obvious but ta me and who was your first muse who did you pain first because that would be the person who would be like who you know.
**** – (): 21:43.75
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um I can’t name that I can name that. Yeah yeah, there are every person who I have like taken as a reference point or I’ve started everybody knows who I’m fainting who.
**** – (): 21:47.14
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): It is that it was that person someone someone close to you does that person know it was him.
**** – (): 22:00.76
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Oh well.
**** – (): 22:03.55
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Is does that is is just that because when it comes to the ah visual play I take that liberty of using the characteristics I mean I just exaggerate them. But yeah, everybody knows who I’m meeting who but.
**** – (): 22:10.24
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, you know me? Yeah, but tell me something what was that person’s reactions the moment they saw like they were um, under a scrutiny on a subject like this.
**** – (): 22:26.98
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Actually um so initially many of them didn’t comment comment in on it live like it’s better to just be like okay we are not commenting on it. You do whatever you want to do? Yeah, so but I would say that they were like really impressed by what I was doing. But yeah. They they left it. They were like okay I don’t know what she’s doing. Let let her do yeah it was it started like that afterwards I think it became a little interesting like because ah once you start receiving different different verdict from people like oh. Are enjoying it. Some are not enjoying it some are criticizing it also because many felt like it’s a very ah woistic view also like you are taking a pleasure in showing it so there were lot of many questions which were coming during that time when I was doing all these stuff and Ben. Finally I somewhere came across this term because I was searching a lot like why is it like metro sexual ah sexuality was the term that I came across and I was like what is this? what? What does this word mean because I’m hearing it I’m doing it for the first time. Whoa.
**** – (): 23:22.81
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): That Yeah yeah, mixability. Yeah.
**** – (): 23:38.12
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): What what is it? So um I searched it on the internet and I could I was able to find some of the researchers papers and I did that it is coined by writer Mark Simpson and I randomly emailed him. Yeah.
**** – (): 23:49.34
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Okay, oh Wow when.
**** – (): 23:56.78
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): I told him I’m I’m an indian artist and this is your theory that you have done during that time you’re saying it in 90 s this word is because it was similar to dandidism dandism is ah it’s after that metro sexuality came so.
**** – (): 24:00.20
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Anything. Yeah.
**** – (): 24:07.45
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): It it like.
**** – (): 24:13.33
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): He was telling during that time in 90 s how the you know ah the british period and England was like and how you know Beckman and everyone were like into this and all I said I’m in India and I’m seeing this and like you have. Because he was talking about a particular class over there the high class because of of if you can afford things you can you can do that but I’m observing in every stat of society. It has breaked the class over here. It is it. It is not something which is just related to the um.
**** – (): 24:32.45
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, but yeah.
**** – (): 24:46.00
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah.
**** – (): 24:47.82
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Upper class if I see even a very lower income person buying a ah product called fair and Handsome and things even the rich are they’re putting and their liking and so so but so and he replied me to my email.
**** – (): 24:52.38
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah, yeah, yeah, such a be in the oh.
**** – (): 25:06.35
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yeah, he was he He was very happy so he replied me he he he in fact, sended me more of his theories more of his books so to read like what and yeah, then and he said like ah he liked I sent some of them my ah images of my artwork like this is what I’m doing This is what I’m doing and.
**** – (): 25:15.28
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, um.
**** – (): 25:19.37
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yes.
**** – (): 25:25.90
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Said I want to share it on my website that he has it. You’re fine with it I said? Yeah yeah, that is fine and then yeah, so we had like 2 3 communications through email like on intervals because there was something whenever I was reading something I used to write him back and tell him oh this is what this is my observation and this is.
**** – (): 25:28.23
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah.
**** – (): 25:42.30
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah, yeah, that’s interesting.
**** – (): 25:45.34
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Like you did that. So yeah, from that one was like the journey actually started with this term and then I started exploring more in the indian mythology or than with the present day like the contemporary situation because I think after that 5 today it is like. Very it has they just bombarded the market has taken over so I’m not saying that it was not there in 2011 or 10 it was there but it was very limited or it was very under the layer layer layer thing but nowadays like yeah people are um.
**** – (): 26:05.76
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, yeah.
**** – (): 26:13.63
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Not yeah, no, even as I think no even as an I think the normalization has become too common now if there’s like men hygiene and their skin care and then I think.
**** – (): 26:21.88
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Too much. Ah, yeah.
**** – (): 26:33.24
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): We’ve gone beyond gender rules. Um, we’ve gone about um beat Harry Styles dressing his way even though he’s also been put under scrutiny for a lot of time like I think the level of that conversation has changed drastically for sure. But how has you.
**** – (): 26:33.24
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, is.
**** – (): 26:42.21
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yeah, yeah.
**** – (): 26:51.40
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um.
**** – (): 26:52.88
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, I’m particularly also interested in something like you know for me like let’s say a lot of times. Um, a lot of my experiences I am the one I need to drive them for right? Um, when you you’re constantly like when you’re looking you like I think. How do I say it? Okay, let me reframe this when you’re looking within as a female I have to look at my own experiences and then put that forward and there’s another genre where you are looking at someone and you’re commenting and pointing that out. How is that experience as an artist I feel like.
**** – (): 27:20.57
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): And.
**** – (): 27:29.94
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um.
**** – (): 27:31.63
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): How do you? What is your creative process like for does that differ like I really want to know because it’s not about so much about um your own experiences versus so much about their experiences and what is is that is that right am I going in the right direction.
**** – (): 27:49.24
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, yeah you you are correct like I totally agree that it’s not. It’s not something my own personal experience. It is like the other for other other.
**** – (): 27:53.54
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): But I seen you like the mole that you have is a very signature mole that you keep adding So there’s element of you Also I’m sure and I did do that for for myself. Also I feel like even though I may not relate to an experience completely. But I feel remotely but I know I would.
**** – (): 28:01.84
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, yes.
**** – (): 28:12.40
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Always put a part of me because you know I there’s a reason I’m resonating with it and I think my question is this? Yeah how what is your own reason of resonating with this practice. Do you see something that you’re trying. You’re not with as a woman. Um.
**** – (): 28:16.35
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): So.
**** – (): 28:30.30
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Is there something beyond the lines or in between the lines.
**** – (): 28:36.38
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): But Residue it just that it makes me sometimes it made me furious when we put a woman on certain stata like you know these are the things that women has for example, like you said the mole thing I think I remember somebody so I do get sometimes hair on my mole and somebody comment it I said you would never come in.
**** – (): 28:41.24
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): And.
**** – (): 28:50.00
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah.
**** – (): 28:52.65
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Somebody who has a mustache or something is like that or even the body here thing you would not say men to remove it but because it’s a fever so you know these these things sometimes fury I get furious and I am like why you are just putting us on that you know that bar we all kind of like yeah you have to look pretty this. So.
**** – (): 28:55.31
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah, ah yeah I remember you? yeah.
**** – (): 29:11.61
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): And even ah, even not that I feel like you know while I was doing up and I have like a a mole here and it’s this. This mole is generally called the beauty spot and my father I remember growing up. He was very concerned very concerned that he has like I have a big bowl here and he would be like um.
**** – (): 29:12.62
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): I Think yeah.
**** – (): 29:21.60
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, this is.
**** – (): 29:26.12
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): And.
**** – (): 29:28.79
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): You know once you grow up I’ll I’ll get this surgerissmetically removed in something I for a very long time to be very honest while growing up I was very uncomfortable with this mole because even the people around me really admired it liked it. Whatever.
**** – (): 29:39.19
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): In.
**** – (): 29:46.18
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): I as a person because it it was today honestly I don’t even know it exist I unless we spoke about it I really don’t know it’s so much part of me that I don’t even notice. But at that point growing up young where I would constantly at home. Also listen that he would say okay, you know all is good. And I was a slim child and you know all of those things because typical you know, um, women stereotype and I was like a young fair and in India being a fair skin is another very big subject matter. So I fit in those obvious matters that I don’t.
**** – (): 30:09.92
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, and then.
**** – (): 30:20.40
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): So.
**** – (): 30:23.10
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Now He’s very concerned about me gaining my weight. But at that point he was like okay you fit all the boxes I just need to get this mole removed for you and I was so uncomfortable and I I would really like you know and I was young and I remember that I would try to take my mom’s concealer and and hide it and I’ll tell her like I would.
**** – (): 30:33.80
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um.
**** – (): 30:42.59
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): When I would get a photograph clicked and I would you know turn my head here and there because I just want people to see it and there came a point where I started to see it from a different lens when I got away from that voice and I was like oh Wow I think and I would you know a practice I would just hide my finger put my finger here and like I’ll be like how do I look with it.
**** – (): 30:48.30
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, school move.
**** – (): 31:01.88
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): And I’ll be like who you know what? it’s not me I feel myself when I have it and this is such a like this wouldn’t be a particular fact for um, for a meal counterpart for a boy.
**** – (): 31:05.46
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Is.
**** – (): 31:13.22
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yeah, absolutely actually I never felt embarrassed I never felt like a hiding it until somebody points out and says okay I mean yeah I have it that is ah that’s a part of my I can’t just remove it. Plus I Also realize if you see like you ask me that how do I feel when I pain to because.
**** – (): 31:18.73
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, yes, yes yeah.
**** – (): 31:31.60
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Ah, the ah opposite gender because ah to paint yourself. It’s much easier but when you see history All the mail artist is matter of mailout is like painted for.
**** – (): 31:37.44
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah, absolutely yes I agree. Yeah.
**** – (): 31:42.95
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Nobody goes and asks them like how you’re projecting so that was like that was another thing which was working you know which is going on my mind. Why it so much.
**** – (): 31:50.82
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, did you feel vision our Mike like this. Um, yeah, you you’re flipping the coin like you’re must become. Yeah.
**** – (): 31:56.28
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yeah I was I was absolutely into that I think you never went and asked like these great master of the people. Why you why you were painting woman. Why didn’t you paint yourself. You had the mirror at that time. Why didn’t you do that. But yeah because you have to and plus the idea of you know, being you know that.
**** – (): 32:06.16
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah.
**** – (): 32:15.32
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, yeah.
**** – (): 32:15.56
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Woman’s body is associated with Sensuality sexuality and so much so you can put the male person in that category. You don’t have to be like you know these these I felt like somewhere is dividing dividing the join and that’s how society ah unknowingly is taking all these and putting it into the.
**** – (): 32:26.26
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah, um, yeah, yeah.
**** – (): 32:35.27
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Ah, categories and fitting us and say I don’t want to I think I don’t want to be put into that category see your own desire is 1 thing that you want to look that way but society desire or desire by other corporates spectacle that is not what I agree with somewhere.
**** – (): 32:46.60
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, yeah.
**** – (): 32:53.20
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): So yeah, my Ida was still like let’s flip flip everything and let’s do this and yes and this is not something I’m painting like a fantasy or something. It’s ah it’s a very for me. It’s a very realistic thing. It’s happening. It’s happening. It’s happening near in my own area. So.
**** – (): 33:01.21
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Good you know, do you find it as amusing today after so many years and there’s a lot of progress that has happened are there still how do you find like I’m sure now they’ve become a loyal your own muses I’m sure you might have we have all. Our fathers our uncles our brothers friends all around us and I’m sure there when you started their comfort levels within themselves was very different but now a lot of that has changed a lot of normalization has happened and when we’re talking about gender neutral clothes and like you know. Like also expressive clothing and you know all of these identities. Um, do you How has that shifted your perspective. Ah how has that shifted your lens has that evolved or you know is that an addition and another thing is that. How are you like? okay in the beginning when things are strange. It’s it’s a lot more fun but now when it’s becoming more normal. How are you finding those little things again.
**** – (): 33:58.75
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, actually you know what I think yoga It has not It has not that much normal I still feel if if I if if I ever say the names of the even Newss they will feel very uncomfortable because I know they they won’t like it people don’t.
**** – (): 34:09.33
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, so.
**** – (): 34:16.12
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah, why? yeah, that’s you know.
**** – (): 34:18.49
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Like it till they’re anonymous. Everybody enjoys it the moment you start So and um, they see now I would say that the initial lens was ah still I would say was when it started was.. There were many things I didn’t discover I was just doing it. But now I think I’ve become a more responsible in your painting things and understanding things I have started taking it in a more serious level that where this things are going. It’s just not about the beautification or things.
**** – (): 34:48.19
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Oh yeah.
**** – (): 34:51.29
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): There are lot of many stereotypes which stereotypes which are existing in society and and each and every day you’re facing it. You’re seeing it in your areas in your around. Um, so yeah, now it has become more responsible form of for me. Okay.
**** – (): 35:05.83
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, okay, that’s very interesting and I’m very um, interested In. Um I was very very particularly interested in knowing this because I think it’s not as as common at least for my knowing god. I Think you always discover someone different with a different perspective. It’s always interesting to know that what they are thinking from. Okay, let’s also come back to um your own experience. Um, as an artist. What was do you feel the hardest thing for you. All these years figuring your path as an artist.
**** – (): 35:44.79
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um I think in the starting it was the acceptance the validation like yeah, you’re doing.
**** – (): 35:47.10
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, this is also and okay, but also yeah, that could be 1 when you’re saying like are you saying just as like as being an artist.
**** – (): 36:00.26
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, as being an artist as what the work I’m doing for that. Also yeah for both.
**** – (): 36:00.41
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): You know because for you a literally or because you know if you’re going to and I’m interested in doing this because you know, um, how do I say this in a very polite way for someone who’s anyone who’s listening. Like you know that is um, once you’re making work. Um and but specifically in the commercial manner. Let’s say you know if you’re making a subject. There are flowers and like if it’s a aesthetically pleasing sight and women in general are feminine Objectives. Um. Um, aesthetically pleasing now suddenly you go out and you’re putting your work out there and there’s like a man pulling his air. So What kind of response did you get in the initial. Ah you know time when people were looking at your work and then there is one part where looking at your work and enjoying it. And then there is one part. Okay like I would like to bring this I would like to take this like what was your experience with that.
**** – (): 37:05.50
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): So actually? um so when my I think when my work went on display in the initial years it was ah it became actually it was not I won’t say that it was getting up all positive review for it or being positively accepted. They were like. Ah, yeah, there was like people who were questioning it and and the side who were accepting it. But the idea was war with the word metrosexuality people were not comfortable with the word because they were using the sexuality with the sexuality thing instead of understanding and just and I was like I was like.
**** – (): 37:30.23
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah, yeah.
**** – (): 37:41.78
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Really I think I was very irritated with this whole idea because I was explaining but people were not understanding that what that what I was realizing So I Like you said like if you make a flower you make a thing you you beautify an aesthetically I Actually. Instead of using the word metroxuality I changed it like grooming culture of men in Indian Society instead of saying using a very hard word. Yeah I changed my style of saying things and then I also started using history of.
**** – (): 38:03.23
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, complex. Yeah I hate that emotion.
**** – (): 38:18.89
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): I Mean sorry mythology as my points to show I mean picking some of the incidents from mythology while reading it and then putting it into the contemporary life. So that’s how I started I felt like I started doing this I I felt like people also started accepting and becoming. Okay, okay, she’s.
**** – (): 38:36.39
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah.
**** – (): 38:38.82
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): She’s using this. Oh it’s this yeah that you know this is how things are So yeah, that’s that’s how.
**** – (): 38:44.51
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): But some something I’ve also noticed in your work over the years is that um and I feel like I can see more of you also coming into it. Um I can see the feminity coming into it and I didn’t see that in the first place honestly. Like the the focus was on the instance that you’re talking about. But I think the last few works that I’ve seen of yours have that feminine aspect that does not look forced but I can see that your narrative has like like you are you and your narrative probably have unified in a sense like okay, you’ve become one like.
**** – (): 39:01.87
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, see.
**** – (): 39:10.70
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Is.
**** – (): 39:19.36
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): And also like bringing bringing those female figures and like I remember seeing 1 of your painting where this um where this woman is you know caressing of man’s hair and there are you know, flowers and and it’s it’s it I can feel a lot more softness and.
**** – (): 39:23.30
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um.
**** – (): 39:29.33
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Are.
**** – (): 39:39.30
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Feminity in that sense Also now. So do you think has that evolved has have you started putting um yourself more into it.
**** – (): 39:52.00
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): See I Um yeah I say I will I You cannot. You cannot take away Artis from his you know paint? Yeah so they they, there’s always going to be part of me over there when I’m you know when I’m making up.
**** – (): 39:56.34
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yes, absolutely brutal I think.
**** – (): 40:08.50
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Certain piece I’m thinking about it I I might also enact it like how it is going to be or what is it So it’s almost like ah the piece is going. It’s like a theater theater. You know it’s like a movie to me. It’s a theater piece and how each and every action So I’m a director I am going to like put something you know.
**** – (): 40:13.92
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): So I said.
**** – (): 40:26.37
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): About yeah but you also like I there’s another thing you buy I think from from what I can look at is sometimes I think we and I also come from my own you see looking back at my own experience sometimes and you’re you know dipping in waters your hands are just you just.
**** – (): 40:27.60
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Something is going to come out of meat over the yeah. So yeah.
**** – (): 40:44.89
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Testing water doesn and you like you do not want to feel too exposed to vulnerable ah to yourself put yourself out there. But once you know yes this is I have full faith in what I’m saying I or you find that courage and and and then you’re like you go all in and you like now let’s bring it on like like let’s. Why do I need to comment I You I can see those exaggerated scenes now. It’s no longer just one. It’s like a composition. It’s like more complex. Um, like it’s also emotions like did the other one I could see the love but I could also see how.
**** – (): 41:14.00
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Is.
**** – (): 41:20.94
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Also almost role reverse like I could see the feminity in the men softness in the men versus more in the female like I felt like the way um, a male is getting its head done. It’s like a very female position and it’s.
**** – (): 41:28.60
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, this is so.
**** – (): 41:35.84
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yes.
**** – (): 41:38.19
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): It’s it’s it’s it was a little odd but also very fascinating to look at it because I was like oh Wow and also pleasing in the sense of yes men also have soft parts men are also feminine. They have feminine energy. But I think just the way we’ve been brought up in a society that. Only appreciates masculine energy and I think it’s changing Now. It’s it’s it’s understanding the strengths of who we are.
**** – (): 41:59.88
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yeah, it’s definitely changing. That’s why I think my men are becoming more prominent because might be I’m meeting people who I see oh it’s changing and it is coming. Yeah I Absolutely agree on the point you you mentioned? yeah men have men have because of you know, initially I think I was.
**** – (): 42:03.10
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Is.
**** – (): 42:11.33
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): I mean.
**** – (): 42:19.30
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Somewhere trying to ah prove a point it starts I wanted to prove a point and I wanted to show. Yeah that no no, this is this is like common to both things. Don’t say but now I’m more like yeah it has become more of it’s not about proving the point now it is just.
**** – (): 42:21.64
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, you started doing that.
**** – (): 42:34.68
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, you we have a friend like that Also because I think I am pity.
**** – (): 42:38.00
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Ah, what? And ah.
**** – (): 42:42.74
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yeah, yeah I mean yeah, it could be. It could be both in that manner. Yeah, so it’s more like ah it’s something. Yeah I want I’m showing this because um, this is the reality I might I would say in that manner. Yeah, and yeah, might be.
**** – (): 42:56.33
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): And.
**** – (): 43:03.32
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): I will say that it’s I won’t draw like wash it off Toby it’s sometimes it’s like you’re reflecting the society what you’re seeing around so when ah anybody who sees right now might be some kind of effect should be on the viewer like either. It’s It’s a kind of a question for them or the acceptance for them. Yeah, it is more like ah it’s not like now to prove a point thing that which was initially it was there. But.
**** – (): 43:30.14
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): When I do any love I Really love how subtle your house. Um.
**** – (): 43:37.95
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): In the sense like a man holding a baby versus men and women a guy and a girl you know, um, dressing together but also like I I’m just seeing one of your work on Nazi right now which is because you’re worth it and there’s this guy who has a. Another guy’s picture on the back and then there is he has these ansy Chapels and then there’s someone putting a mirror and instantly I can think about um my let’s say my grandfather or like anyone from their generation who would like ah who would bring who would call someone who give me a mirror like me. Let me make my mustache or let me hair dress my hair and it’s it’s like so many. It’s very in in a sense of empowering narratives also like where you switch those gender rules and you feel like a wow like also normalizing that and also I think on.
**** – (): 44:32.70
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Actually I think if you see the history if you see history mythology anything. It was a normalized thing for me it it. Yeah, it was a.
**** – (): 44:34.14
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): There’ll be.
**** – (): 44:38.74
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): You know in in in culture had Marrajas when I do my research dear have like so much jewelry and then like we we can come from that.
**** – (): 44:43.93
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yes I.
**** – (): 44:51.83
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yeah, so it was a very ah it was a very normal concept I think it was after the colonialization that happened and everything happened all of a sudden I don’t know what happened we changed and we had this such a like big divisions of things. So yeah, so I think I have to.
**** – (): 44:55.80
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah.
**** – (): 45:08.45
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Even with kargel if you see in our culture. Ah, even while we grew up I’ve seen so many people who would put katal and andistrally um, even if you go in rural india today. There are so many people who would and like you know men would initially wear so many.
**** – (): 45:14.69
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, footager. Yeah.
**** – (): 45:26.55
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Ornaments and then the rings and then the chains and like and then I think the whole narrative changed and then suddenly it didn’t become cool and it became too feminine and you know all of the things.
**** – (): 45:35.58
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yeah, and in. In fact, if you say the Po Po or Po has its own ah because it it is good for your eye. The idea was like on the medical term like you use it. It’s very good for your eyes and all it just brighted up so and it keeps your eyes healthy, but all of a sudden it became more aesthetic.
**** – (): 45:42.18
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): It happen.
**** – (): 45:48.60
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um I think.
**** – (): 45:52.20
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah.
**** – (): 45:54.62
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): More beauty more that so I just felt like yeah it it existed and just you know somewhere putting the history in the present scenario. So it’s not something I ever felt that I’m doing out of box for me. It was always a very very core very common.
**** – (): 46:02.24
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Um, yeah, yeah, but you just putting Chris yeah um, men putting hena on their hand culturally um, these are very common things that.
**** – (): 46:13.11
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yes, yes.
**** – (): 46:19.73
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): So many cultures have in India within like even in hinduism. Um, and they’re putting Mendi and like so many things actually that’s true and I think.
**** – (): 46:26.96
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yeah, you see see now you even see if you have seen some of the mens. Ah, who have ah men who have put the nail polish in their little finger. Yeah, but have grownnies. Yeah and now ah but it has become a fashion of putting the.
**** – (): 46:34.41
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yes, and have grown meals.
**** – (): 46:45.61
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Yeah, so you you’re becoming feminine in your this. Yeah so and in fact in some of the marriage culture also of men putting Nail polish is there. It still exist if you travel at little. Yeah.
**** – (): 46:46.18
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, yeah.
**** – (): 46:56.54
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, yeah, yeah in India its yeah for sure in India a lot of this still occurs and it still is apart and it’s very normal only until um, it I think the only thing is I think with your work It’s so many times we I think it’s also like. Postering women have been posted in a certain way and it goes men go unnoticed in those and you know it’s just it. It ignored moments and then suddenly when you see it in a painting and you see in this and you’re like oh wow yeah I relate to this I I can ah almost any painting that I I’ve seen of yours.
**** – (): 47:20.10
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, and he so.
**** – (): 47:31.10
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): I can think of someone some moment and like oh yeah I saw my father doing this once I saw my my brother doing this one I saw my partner doing and this is what me and my partner do like it’s not like this is these are unusual moments. You’re very realistic very everyday moments but yet.
**** – (): 47:32.48
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): 7
**** – (): 47:45.88
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Are.
**** – (): 47:47.98
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Been tagged in a certain way and they get the masculine energy is a certain way. So there’s a facade that I think that’s also unvealing itself like oh no, it’s not as what we think and what we’re seeing it about.
**** – (): 47:59.92
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, actually idea was somewhere to put a very basic thing in front of the public so that they can relate with the yeah yeah, they can relate with the whole picture but they can also think about it because it’s like stealing a moment from everyone’s life and putting it there.
**** – (): 48:02.47
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Yeah, you’re doing that.
**** – (): 48:17.18
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): So yeah somewhere I think my aim is to put a very basic, very basic setting with very basic activity which everybody is aware of but just with a twist in it.
**** – (): 48:25.96
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): And god so that thank you so much palivi I had a fantastic and think this is the conversation. We’ve not had on the podcast in all these episodes one fifty plus but it was so nice to speak to you truly I think.
**** – (): 48:43.42
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Um, thank you Thank you for this thing us.
**** – (): 48:45.77
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Most like most fun conversations on a subject matter. No app. Okay, before I let you go do you? What are you working on. Um, what are any new project anything looking forward to um that you want to share with us.
**** – (): 48:50.14
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): I Hope I hope it was so.
**** – (): 49:03.43
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): I am working on something but right now I have won reveal it. So it’s in the yeah, it’s and yeah, so in the process. But yeah soon you will you will get to know. But yeah, yeah.
**** – (): 49:10.70
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): When you are but you’re ready Hope you just let us know So okay, anyone who’s listening to this back. Can they find you support you look at your work. Um, please take the stage and let people know.
**** – (): 49:25.23
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): So I’m a represented artist of art heritage gallery. So you can always look to their website. They have my work you can look my work on artsy. You can look my work on my Instagram plus my website which is plovising dot art dot com and yes. These are the places you can always look at me and see what is happening and what is going to be.
**** – (): 49:50.19
**** – (): charukaarora
**** – (): Perfect. Thank you so much and thank you everyone who’s joined us and I really highly recommend that you look at paloviz park and um, just quickly as after you finished this episode go to our website and there’s a beautiful, beautiful. Um, editorial on um palavis work. We’ve included some amazing images and a lot of work that I have seen and palavis spoken about and tell us if you resonated and I I think I’m particularly also interested from people listening from people who were listening to this podcast. Because I know our listeners come from all parts of the world and we’ve spoken a lot about indian context at how men behave in you know, patriarchy and misogyny and like you know and also having fun with it and it’s not as like something I think these subjects it’s it’s beautiful to have these conversations in a very light and organic manner. So I would. You know we’d really enjoy to here if in what happens in your part of the world and um, share with us if you resonated if you have a story to tell and make sure you tag us and you tell us what it is and if you like this conversation make sure you tune in for next week’s and thank you so much I appreciate your time palivian I appreciate everybody who joined us. Thank you 1 sec.
**** – (): 51:05.72
**** – (): Pallavi
**** – (): Thank you, Thank you.

About The Guest(s):
Pallavi Singh is an Indian artist based in New Delhi. She completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in painting from the College of Art Delhi. Pallavi’s work focuses on the grooming culture of men in Indian society, exploring the stereotypes and expectations placed on men when it comes to their appearance.

Summary:
In this episode, host Charu Kaarora interviews artist Pallavi Singh about her journey as an artist and her exploration of the grooming culture of men in Indian society. Pallavi discusses her experiences in art school, the challenges she faced in the art world, and how her work has evolved over the years. She also talks about the importance of questioning societal norms and expectations, and how her art aims to challenge these ideas.

Pallavi shares that the concept of men wearing jewelry and ornaments was normalized in history and mythology, but it changed after colonization. She highlights how men in Indian culture used to wear kadas, rings, and chains, but these practices became associated with femininity. Pallavi also mentions that men wearing nail polish and mehndi (henna) is still a part of some marriage cultures in India. She emphasizes that her aim is to present everyday moments from people’s lives with a twist, challenging the stereotypes and facades associated with masculinity.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pallavi’s work explores the grooming culture of men in Indian society and challenges the stereotypes and expectations placed on men’s appearance.
  • She draws inspiration from her observations of men’s grooming habits and the societal pressures they face.
  • Pallavi’s work aims to question and challenge societal norms and expectations, particularly when it comes to gender roles and appearance.

Charuka Arora is the founder of the Arts to Hearts Project and Host of the Arts to Hearts Podcast. She is also an Indian artist whose boundary-redefining contemporary embellished paintings have earned her international recognition. With her unique blend of gouache, collage, embroideries, painting, and drawing, Charuka examines the intersection of art, culture, heritage, and womanhood. She creates art that tells stories of a woman’s strength of soul, encapsulating them in pieces that can be passed down from generation to generation.

 Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

One of her notable works is the ongoing series entitled “Modern Maharani”. These hand-embellished mixed media paintings and collages depict stories of women’s inner strength, inspired by Indian culture, mythology, and their relationship with women. These contemporary tales are deeply rooted in history and display an unexpected satire on patriarchy and misogyny.

Upon closer inspection, the feminine appearance of these works reveals an innovative visual language, using jewelry, human features, and other items of belongingness in a new play with embellishments that redefine the age-old narrative set for women.

Charuka’s work also draws inspiration from Hindu mythology that considers women as vessels of Shakti, identifying them as beings responsible for the creation, maintenance, and destruction of the universe. Her depiction of Durga Maa riding a tiger or lion indicates that she possesses unlimited power that she uses to protect virtue and destroy evil, symbolizing the idea of a woman’s strength as depicted in religious tales and goddesses.

About Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

With her artistic creations, Charuka transports us into a woman’s world, offering powerful portrayals of the beauty, strength, and resilience of women. Her work not only displays exceptional artistic talent but also serves as an inspiration and a beacon of hope for women seeking to break out of the constraints imposed by societal norms.

Arts to Hearts Podcast is a show delving into the lives and passions of renowned artists. From running creative businesses and studio art practices to cultivating a successful mindset, Charuka Arora engages in heartfelt conversations with her guests. Experience your personal happy hour with your favorite artists, right in your studio.

Through candid discussions, Charuka and her guests reveal the joys and challenges of a vibrant creative life, both within and beyond our studios. Get ready to be inspired and uplifted as you tune in.

About the Guest

Pallavi Singh (b.1988). Currently living and working in New Delhi, India. Completed her Master in Fine Art in Painting from the College of Art, Delhi in 2011.

​Singh’s work is predominantly in the medium of painting, her style of working is research-based, where society plays the role of a social laboratory, and skills like observation, conversation, traveling, and personal experiences are tools, to collect information to start her work. She is interested in art as a way of thinking and understanding the world around her not only as a practitioner but also from the lenses of a viewer.

Singh is exploring the grooming culture amongst Indian men, which is showing a change from the traditional alpha male. She has approached this phenomenon from the lens of commercialization, which has played an instrumental role in facilitating this change.

She is the recipient of the Artist Opportunity Fellowship Award for Vermont Studio Centre, USA 2019, the WADe Asia-WADe India Art Award (Women Architects, Artist, and Designer Awards), The Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation scholarship for Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture USA (2015) Art residency, finalist of 10t​ h​ Sovereign Asian Art Prize ’13-’14, Hong Kong.

​She has been part of various group shows and art residencies both nationally and Internationally.

Selected Work of Pallavi Singh

Want to know more about Pallavi? Visit the link below

In the latest episode of the ATH Podcast, we chat with Pallavi Singh, an artist from India. Her story is not just about how she grew as an artist, but also a tale of bouncing back from tough times and using her art to question rules set by society.

Pallavi told me that in the past, art schools in India didn’t have enough resources for artists to do well. But things have gotten better. Earlier, students had to figure out how to apply for grants on their own without any help. This was tough for Pallavi. But, her school taught her to work hard and never give up, which helped her overcome these problems.

Pallavi enjoyed college. Meeting people from different backgrounds and seeing their art changed her way of thinking and influenced her work. But she was disappointed when she realized that she wasn’t ready to join the art world or talk about her work after graduating. Other artists seemed good at expressing themselves, but Pallavi felt unprepared and spoke about her worries.

It’s good to know that art education has improved a lot since then. The changes are helping future artists get ready for the art world. Pallavi is happy about these changes because she knows that students now have what they need to succeed.

Pallavi also talked about how her art has changed over time. She once had a chat with someone about a theory related to the 90s and the British period in England. This made her want to explore Indian mythology and current issues in her work. She saw that consumerism is becoming more common in today’s society and it affects everyone.

In her early years as an artist, Pallavi was questioned and criticized. People didn’t understand the term “metrosexuality” that she used in her work. They thought it was about sexuality instead of its deeper meaning. Upset by this misunderstanding, she decided to change her focus to the grooming habits of Indian men. By using mythology in her work, Pallavi was able to link old stories and modern life, and people liked this.

As the host, I found it interesting to see men in Pallavi’s work showing softer characteristics and questioning society’s ideas of manliness. This switch in gender roles showed the complexity of emotions and gave a new view on gender relationships.

During the podcast, Pallavi and I talked about finding yourself, being brave, and the problems artists face. We talked about why it’s important to question why we do things and how having a support network can help with nervousness. Pallavi said that artists need time and experience to last in the industry and warned against quick success that might stunt an artist’s growth.

One memorable part of our conversation was when Pallavi shared a personal story about a mole on her face. When she was younger, she felt uncomfortable and tried to hide it with makeup. But over time, Pallavi accepted the mole as part of who she is and wondered why society cared so much about it. This self-exploration allowed her to question society’s beauty standards and ideas of femininity.

In summary, Pallavi Singh’s journey as an artist shows the power of accepting change and using art to question society’s rules. From her time in college and entering the art world to exploring current issues and gender relationships, Pallavi’s work encourages us to question the status quo and accept our uniqueness. Her story reminds us that art can start conversations, make people think, and bring about positive change.


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