IAAC Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora 2015

Gautam Rao
Gautam Rao
Gautam Rao

Names are an inherent part of who we are. I’ve long had an obsession with Indian names. Since I was a child, I’ve heard my name pronounced (and spelled) in infinite ways- a common experience for many Indians in America. In this series: Indians, Alphabetically my goal is to celebrate the variety and power of Indian names. My work focuses on the intersection of art and design, of digital and analog mediums. This series relies on vector drawing and Bézier curves to bring detail and specificity to illustrations. Each illustration is accompanied by original typography. The font was designed specifically for this piece using Glyphs software. The series consists in total of 26 illustrations, one for each letter of the alphabet and includes illustrations of men and women. For the sake of brevity, I’ve included 10 examples, but will display all 26 when selected.  The listing of names has a long history in Hinduism. Vishnu Sahasranama is a popular chanted stotra consisting of a recitation of 1,000 names for the god Vishnu. Indian names are so descriptive and evocative- they can signify religious affiliation or even geographic origin. This series playfully and artfully celebrates the Indian experience and Indian culture.

Gautam Rao is an artist based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Originally from Washington D.C., he’s also lived in Bangalore, India. He earned a BFA at Boston University in 1999 and an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2002. Gautam is currently an Associate Professor of Art at Butler University. He is particularly interested in the intersection between art and design. His distinctions include a Susan Coslett Cromwell Traveling Fellowship, and awards from the Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. He founded Indy Type: The Indianapolis Typography Society. As an avid Sherlock Holmes fan, he is a member of the Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis. He recently exhibited his work at The Swope Art Museum, at Typeforce 5 in Chicago and in Art from the Heartland 2014 at the Indianapolis Art Center, curated by Sarah Urist Green.
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