Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Introducing... Aakash Nihalani

We are very excited to introduce our new signing;  Aakash Nihalani. His incredibly beautiful graphic art created with coloured tape have already become an iconic symbol for a new generation of street art. We caught up with Aakash at the launch of his new solo exhibition in NY.

Picasso Pictures: What is your full name?
Aakash: Aakash Nihalani

PP: Where in the world were you born / grew up?
Aa: Born Queens, New York, 1986. Grew up in Jersey.

PP: Where is the world do you currently live?
Aa: Brooklyn, New York.

PP: How did you get into Art /Animation? When did you know it was for you?
Aa: I think my first introduction to art was collecting rocks as a kid, amethyst to tiger's eye. I was (and still am) fascinated with all the different kinds; the colors, the textures, and the fact that they were made by nature always amazed me. And then later in my childhood I became obsessed with becoming a magician, saving up money to buy magic kits and trick books.

Illusions are fun, and I like that part of the success of a trick depends on the viewers' willingness to believe in it.
I think the work I do now reflects those same attractions I had as a kid.

PP: What was your first experience with Tape? How did that become your thing?
Aa: The tape work started in late 2007. I was part of a student exhibition at New York University where I displayed a set of silkscreen studies involving the cube. I was using blue painter’s tape to hang the prints on a wall and noticed that the shadow of a nearby pedestal matched the shape in my prints. So instinctively, I outlined an isometric rectangle in the shadow with the tape. There were a few more trials inside before it became obvious I had to take it outside.

PP: How would you describe your style?
Aa: Good clean fun.

PP: Who /What has been your biggest influence in your career?
Aa: The need to keep getting better.

PP: Where do you see the future?
Aa: I'm looking forward to taking the digital interactive works to a physical installation format, interacting with the motion and touch of the viewer.

PP: Tell us about your .swf art? How did that come about?
Aa: I was doing tape installations outdoors interacting with the public, and I felt the Internet was its own public realm that I could make work for, to interact withI was learning to build my website at the time and starting messing around with some flash coding incorporating my designs.

I like the idea of an artwork thats kinetic and infinite in composition, depending on the viewer.

PP: What inspires you in general?
Aa: What doesn't!

PP: Tell us about NYC is it an inspirational place to live and work?
Aa: I want to make work that’s universal. If you’re eight or eighty years old, from Asia or Africa, you can relate. New York is amazing because it really has everything from everywhere. It’s important for me to be able to interact with every aspect and walk of life.

Aakash is now represented by Picasso Pictures for moving image and experiential commercial projects.