Walking into the Stainless Gallery felt almost allegorical- it was somewhere else, it felt somewhere else; Soho in New York City to be precise. It felt like the artists personal studio, something she had presented, down to each detail of colorful paintbrushes lying on the floor. This post is about an art exhibition where we (luckily) were able to interview the unedited, massively original artist- Trishla Jain. Her work is a combination of Monet and Jasper Johns in the best way possible.
The best part about her was that her medium was not just canvas, she had painted sofas, fans, irons and wood dividers and benches; not just with paint but with cards, cloth, newspaper cuttings and pictures. It was just the whole exhibition- it was an experience, she had put pieces of everything she is into the little ‘sold’ stickers (bright, shiny and intensely neon cartoons) rather than red dots, an inverted chair hung in mid-air from a coarse rope, a red ladder leading up towards a new perspective and a few short lines of poetry for every work.
The first one that had us caught in one place was ‘Electric Feather’ which was these lines- these vertical and horizontal strokes forming pleasantly harsh cubes of color. It was a mismatched gradient. Right by it in a humble shade of grey, in Trishla’s words “wake me up with an electric feather and then, lets fall asleep together”.
With her undergraduate degree in Literature from Stanford University and a masters from Columbia University she seemed anything but human; when we spoke to her though her ideas were much different “I’m just a normal person, I cry, I make mistakes”. She was just so simple, so herself- warm and refined. When asked about her art, she was absolutely unambiguous, she said sincerely, “Not everything in the world needs to be thought about.”
Her inspiration is children for their “pure unadulterated state of bliss” and their ability to be “100% in the moment, absolute freedom to be themselves”. She draws from her love for music (some of her favorites being The XX, Jason Mraz and John Mayer), poetry, prose and meditation. Trishla also managed to convince us to add some of her favorite books to our individual reading lists- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon, The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón and poetry by Rumi and Shel Silverstein.
Though not entirely connected, we asked about her experience in New York City (to fuel our personal obsession) she told us to “visit everything below 14th street, Soho, Noho and Nolita” and enjoyed teaching English literature to 8th grade public school children who “love everything from punk music to ballet, they are all different”.
After a whole walk around, we stood arrested by the nostalgia created by “Iced Patina”, you know how as children you draw those hills with a sun popping out from behind, it was like that, one of those newly old charms. Painted in shades of minty pinks and cheesecake greens- it is a landscape with texture. Jain wrote, “If towering mountains were iced like cake, a chocolate Everest I would bake”.
Her palette was worth description- her colors had no definition, the greens, the blues, they aren’t green, they aren’t blue. There are so many, you want to make up your own names for them. Her paintings were swaths of thick, intense color inviting through their poetry and comforting in their composition.
You should check out her work on her website http://www.trishlajain.com/ or her facebook page http://www.facebook.com/trishlajainart