Artist of the Day | Siddharth Parasnis


Siddharth Parasnis

Sunny Day in San Francisco #2 2017 Oil on canvas 48 × 48 in

Within the elastic space between figuration and abstraction, San Francisco painter Siddharth Parasnis creates work that balances a sense of physical place with pure color and form. Known for his landscapes that edge into abstraction, Siddharth Parasnis further explores this fertile zone in his new work, with jumbled buildings that read as layered color fields, and vice-versa. Though no figures appear in the windows or doorways of these structures (“characters make everything too literal,” he has said), we sense the energy of human life beyond the overlapping walls, reflected in the dynamic angles and vibrant colors of the forms Parasnis borrows from actual man-made buildings and alters organically through his process. In his words, “Painting takes the viewer with me on a journey to share that which may be derived directly from life or memory, imagination, or dreams.”

Parasnis’ influences range from pre-modern Indian miniature painting, in which artists conveyed depth through stacked imagery rather than through three-point perspective, to Mark Rothko’s saturated fields of color. Other important touchstones include Willem de Kooning’s expressive marks, Dennis Hopper’s sense of ambiance, and Nathan Oliveira and Richard Diebenkorn’s spirituality and color. For Parasnis, a painting’s color relationships are created in a crucial moment. He captures the “unique color harmony” of each painting in a single session, though he might continue working on it for months or even years. The scenes themselves originate in his travels and memories, changing organically as he visualizes them in paint. As critic John Seed has noted, Parasnis doesn’t so much document specific places as invent “new places that demonstrate his affection for buildings and cultures that haven’t lost their souls.”

Born in Pune, India, Parasnis has lived and worked in San Francisco since arriving in 2001 to pursue his MFA. His paintings have shown at numerous venues in the U.S., Europe, and India, including museum exhibitions at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, the Triton Museum of Art, and the Bakersfield Art Museum, where his work was exhibited alongside that of Oliveira, Diebenkorn, Elmer Bischoff, Joan Brown, Theophilus Brown, and other renowned Bay Area artists. Parasnis is the 2016-17 Artist in Residence at STAR Shipyard Trust for the Arts and received a 2102–13 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant. Reviews of his work appear in publications including The Huffington Post, Art Ltd., and American Art Collector, with public and corporate collections including Dell Computers, the Galesburg Civic Art Center in Illinois, and the South Central Zone Cultural Center in Nagpur, India. courtesy of artsy.net, caldwellsnyder.com

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