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Mirror & Reflection

Cosmetic scientist gavin kochar, who moonlights as an artist under the pseudonym of Gavalav, creates art based on the philosophy of creation through experimentation, says Yukti narang

The first thing we notice when we look at art is relatability. Our choice of artworks for exhibition, curation, or entertainment are mainly influenced by our ideas on what art and artistic beauty mean to us. Since the concept doesn’t need to be developed, it naturally arises along with attraction and connection. This teaches us more about the range, the motions, and the urge to express. It takes energy and understanding, ambiance and action and sometimes research and conversations and then we wonder how it is that we never knew of the stretch of the word, ‘art.’

Gavin Kochar, proudly introduced in the art world as ‘Gavalav’ is an artist who emerged with this very idea attached to his paintings. He began creating his art pieces that were aptly treasured and deeply admired by collectors, gallerists and art enthusiasts. As a creator based in New Delhi, India, he originally completed his education in the cosmetic sciences and runs a successful cosmetic brand for perfumes and skincare. Gavin is both an artist and a businessperson. When he started painting he chose the name ‘Gavalav’ for himself. It was one name his friend often called him in college and he chose it as a means to perform his act of painting with complete freedom. He started his journey in art around four years ago as a young individual looking for a unique and creative outlet. A self-taught artist, he brought a sense of identity and perspective along with fresh practices and the escalation of the modern art movement across a universal understanding of figurative art and a system of admiration that had embraced abstract art by younger creators. He believed that scientific knowledge helped him in creating art, mixing unique chemicals and novel textures in his paints to blend them and create newer techniques and hues. Gavalav has always been fond of sketching, reading and learning about artists before he tried his hand at painting which he understood was a form of therapy and relaxation for his soul. Even before he became a painter he collected art and had continually been an admirer of F.N. Souza, Tyeb Mehta, Picasso, M.F. Husain, and Jean-Michel Basquiat – artists who have been known since history to create expressionist works with modern outlooks on art mediums and cubism in paintings. Gavalav’s art reflects a similar sense of cubism technique, surrealist approach, and convulsed realism on canvas. A current state of the self reflects in his paintings like a looking glass that mirrors identities. This can be seen in his works of endless realities.

The artist’s pieces bend toward portraits with expressionism, distortion and mirage-like veracities and the emotional contortion that one often feels but cannot express. His paintings, ‘The Mad Queen’, ‘Hand of God,’ and ‘Mind and Matter’ to name a few prompt sagacity from the artist’s standpoint but never force one idea or authenticity.

The emotional turmoil and tensions along with wonder and wanton actions are brought onto the canvas with pop colour schemes, contrasting tints and incredible pursuits of blending. He often uses references from auctions, coffee table books and his own paintings that work as a collective influence in his artmaking. For him, music is a huge stimulus that brings his most tender memories or raw feelings to the anterior and merges them with new philosophies. Songs and other art forms hold the power of reinvention and affect devices of change in a painting and the way it needs to be propagated by the artist. The subsequent end of motivation for Gavalav’s paintings is fashion. Artworks enthused from and for clothing, shoes and statement pieces are some of his most precious events to take up in life. Style and methods of influence convey his best form when he creates painted works and figures for his friends and comrades, prints them on their collectibles, and has even collaborated with labels like ‘Warping Theories’ and ‘Crepdog Crew.’ Gavalav has had the opportunity to view the rise of NFTs in the art space and although he appears rather interested in the idea of creating digital art, he wishes to learn more about the impact and qualities before delving into the medium despite being an admirer. He considers digital art to be a tincture potion for young art makers, helping them rise in the world of art and to express themselves without restriction. As Gavalav mentions “Within my moments of creation, my mind and art are one” Often his early idea for a painting and the final execution diverges at different points in the creative process but his works always find their inkling conforming with the admirer. The artist’s works as he also explicates, speak to admirers and reflect their understanding of art back to them just like a hand mirror.