Short bio. My name is Radhika Gupta-Buckley. I am a New York-based Indian artist, specializing in painting works on race and identity with bold patterns, saturated colors, and emotionally charged moods. The essence of my work lies in my need to resolve the often conflicting aspects of my hybrid identity. I would describe my work as Contemporary/Portraiture, with surreal and textural elements. M y paintings explore the status of women and men in the current political climate and are filled with humor, sexuality, and empowerment. As an artist, I’m instantly drawn to the color wheel and patterns that echo throughout India. Design and color, when applied with detail & precision, can convey meaning and tell a story.
Art inspiration. I want to defy the traditional classifications and bridge the divide between high and low art to cater to what appeals to me. Growing up, I was always drawn to Raja Ravi Verma’s work. You would see it everywhere - from calendars at the local chai shop to temple walls. Not only did he manage to accomplish a beautiful union of Indian tradition with the techniques of European academic art but he also made art accessible to all - that’s the beauty of his work. Besides Raja Rava Verma, my inspirations range from Basquiat’s thought-provoking work ablaze with social and political consciousness through to Murakami and Koon’s pop art, which is filled with fun and bright colors and very much a part of modern-day pop culture. I work with a multitude of styles and a variety of methods. I’ve always loved Surrealism, Dada, and Pop, so I just follow my interests and focus on them. I like to play around with ideas of sexuality, race, gender, and taste.
Ultimately, I love to serve ME - that’s it. My mind is continually transforming and changing. That’s where I draw a lot of my inspiration from - I am very much a risk-taker, I always have been.
Art can educate. I believe in the freedom to express oneself, and I think art is a fantastic canvas for that. However, anyone with a voice and a platform to be heard has a duty and a responsibility to do so with both integrity and mindfulness. Express with the aim of wanting to educate. Share one’s views and allow others to listen and learn. One can only look to broaden the mindset of others through education and experience; it should never be done forcefully.
My career journey. Coming from a family of lawyers, I followed the path and went to study law at The University of Oxford in England and practiced for many years in the Supreme Court of India and then a leading law firm in Delhi. Still, I have always been very creative and aesthetically inclined. I started painting when I was about six years old and just continued with it. I held my first solo exhibition in 2017 inaugurated by India’s Cultural Minister, which was very well received, and thereafter I transitioned full time into art. Although from the outset, it may seem as though I have taken the road less traveled by switching my career path, I see it as a very natural part of my spiritual and emotional progression. It’s crucial always to look within and listen to what your heart and mind are telling you to do. I n life, it is our duty to follow our unique gift with all we have to offer. We all have infinite potential, it’s about going after it. My mind is constantly evolving and that is what fuels my passion to create. Traveling and being exposed to different cultures has allowed me to experience new ideas which have influenced my outlook on the world. I want to paint, I want to tell my story through each stroke of the brush, and that is what I am doing.
My driving force. My work is inspired by the spirit of female empowerment and a deep desire for equality in this world. I feel my internal dialogue that beats within is always telling me that I have to be fearless. I will not be silenced. I will be heard, and I will be seen on whatever medium I decide to express myself. My paintings allow me to help those who are often and, sadly, not heard and not seen.