Architectural and abstract, Siddharth Parasnis’ paintings feel at once familiar and obscure. Bright geometries of textural paint compose his buildings, straightforward and closely cropped constructions. Parasnis’ subjects are spare– stripped of ornamentation and, it feels, of specific geography. The buildings he paints could easily exist in Brazil, Japan, the United States, or Parasnis’ native India; humble, and full of beauty and energy.“Parasnis explores the poetics of space and place through the process of painting, with its balance of improvisation and organization. Sketches and photos that have been tightly framed and composed so as to energize the flat, abstract polygonal shapes of walls, windows, awnings, cornices, light poles and sky become the compositional scaffolding on which the artist adds richly textured and colored layers of paint—his walls. Dry-brushed and scumbled, scraped down and sanded, these hard-edged but abraded, “lived-in” planes not only breathe space and depth into the architecture depicted, but emotion; the paintings become recreations of buildings, and of their variegated histories in time, but also records of painterly seeing and feeling.” Dewitt Cheng, Art ltd, May 2009 Biography
Parasnis grew up in Pune, India and received his BFA in Illustration and Advertising from the Directorate of Art, Bombay, India. When he decided he to pursue a graduate degree, he chose to use the opportunity to relocate to San Francisco. In 2005, Parasnis earned his MFA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, where he still resides. In addition to numerous awards and gallery exhibitions around the world, Parasnis’ work is held in permanent collections in many corporate and public collections including Dell Computers in Austin, TX; Galesburg Civic Art Center in Galesburg, IL; South Central Cultural Zone Center in Nagpur, India; and The Kidney Group in Fort Lauderdale, FL. His work has also been represented at the artMRKT Modern and Contemporary Art Fair, the Los Angeles Art Fair, and San Francisco Fine Art Fair and has been included in exhibitions at the Art Museum of Los Gatos, Crocker Art Museum, and Coos Art Museum.
“It is Parasnis’ emotional, poetic response to the urban or suburban landscape that links his images, devoid of figures or narratives, with work of the past concerned with the mystery of even the humbler aspects of existence. Parasnis finds certain architectural locations charged with poignancy: ‘…odd places such as patios, corridors, thresholds, backyards, barns, a small alley or even a stairway supported by a broken old wall or it could be just a simple window. These places are often overlooked and quite mundane but they have something so emotional about them… We love them but we don’t really understand their importance… One day they pass away and we realize what we have missed.’” Siddharth Parasnis via Dewitt Cheng, Art ltd, May 2009
Process and Media
Parasnis uses vibrant glazes of color carefully layered onto panel, playing with gloss and matte finishes, highlighting some elements of his compositions and causing others to recede. His goal is to strike a balance between likeness and abstraction. He approaches each painting with a very loose composition, made up of countless lines rendered with charcoal, oil bars, and vivid translucent colors. He layers, scrapes, drips, and glazes the oil paint over his base, wielding a variety of tools to accomplish his desired affect. Many layers are added and obscured as the forms gradually take shape. Some are left unresolved, leaving openings for the viewer to enter; the artist ignores the boundaries of patios, windows, and backyards in his quest to let the paint speak to us of the places he has known.
“It’s all about the physical quality of the paint. What paint can do to the canvas—the drips, the thick and thin paint, the bright colors, the mundane colors. I create the geometrics and then balance and create harmony with the paint.” -From Southwest Art, May 2009