Art is my essential tool for sustaining
a fulfilling life- GC
Born and raised in Mumbai, India, Gauri Chopra began her career in 2002, when she transformed her
childhood hobby of photography into her passion as a self-taught photographer. In 2010 Chopra graduated with a BA in industrial, scientific photography from the
prestigious Brooks Institute of photography in Santa Barbara, California. High-Quality education and the newly acquired knowledge of scientific techniques changed Gauri's perspective towards commercial photography. For five years, she worked with high-speed and commercial photographers in New York such as Richard Pierce, Shinichi Maruyama, Norimich Inoguchi and Martin Waugh in Portland. Chopra also worked for established architects and architectural firms in Mumbai and Santa Barbara such as Clay Architecture founded by Ahsan Ansari, and Santa Barbara Architecture by Robert Senn. Her work with both these firms has won awards and has been published in several online and print magazines.
In addition to winning several international photography awards in the architectural photography, fine art, book, and digital media categories, Chopra has assisted for some of the leading brands in the industry such as Carlsberg, Kheils, Estee Lauder, and Speedo to name a few. During her commercial journey, she realized that her art itself was calling for a larger purpose in life — a mission via which she could create more value through her art and share the knowledge with others. In the search for creating more awareness of the artist within herself, in 2012 Chopra discovered the ocean through her lens, after which she quit her commercial work and dedicated five years of her life to studying and capturing the wonders of our oceans and its inhabitants in the Indian ocean. In the process she learned about how tropical coral reefs are productive ecosystems, and not only do they support enormous biodiversity, but they are also of immense value to the human species. In 2012 Chopra published her first book, The Best Sword, which blends her passion for spirituality, nature, and martial art, and in 2017 she published an I pad application (book), in the hope to create awareness about the importance of a cleaner environment, starting from our oceans. Gauri Chopra now specializes in Architectural and high-speed photography. Her passion for photography is not only about images, but also about the concept, vision, and her love for the art itself.
“Every human being is an artist and every artist is on their own time - GC
What lies within is not always unseen - GC
Art can create large shifts in awareness and value …only when it is accessible to the world - GC
Why do you make this type of art?
It all started with this one moment when I realized that “society” does not fit me. During my early years as an artist, maintaining my artistic values and originality was the single most challenging task in a city like Mumbai. This situation pushed me out of my comfort zone, and I spent many years traveling and interacting with the natural beauty in and around India, looking for an environment that would be conducive for creating. In the process, I was able to communicate with natural shapes, new textures, beautiful colors, and hues, that I couldn’t even think of recreating on paper, and yet, sadly the urgency to keep the environment clean was unfolding at every step in my journey. After years of interacting with and photographing different elements on land, I found myself speechless when I experienced the Indian ocean through my lens. The yellow sun piercing through the dense blue Maldivian waters, the sound of my breath rising to the surface in the form of shiny silver bubbles, the slight crackling sound of the reef and the vast blue canvas to empty the mind, was an inspiring experience. No element had ever woken up all my five senses, in such a seamless fashion. It was the perfect environment to plant the seed for my desire, to create more value through my art. In the search for creating more awareness of the artist within myself, in 2012 I quit my commercial photography job in New York and dedicated five years of my life to studying and capturing the wonders of our oceans and its inhabitants in the Indian ocean.
What does your artwork represent?
The urgency to create awareness about the coexistence of the symbiotic relationship between humans and our natural environment is the base coat for all my artwork. Along with photography exhibits, I also create digital artworks and art edutainment products like apps and ebooks, in the hope to inspire the younger generation, to help build awareness about the benefits of a cleaner environment.
What motivates you?
The complicated process of simplifying the mind, to transfer the art from the brain onto a tangible medium, is very intriguing. The challenge to conceptualize, create and complete every project is a complicated process for an artist. Translating experiences, emotions, thoughts, and visions onto paper is an intense play of the mind, which often leads to incomplete and shelved artwork. Hence my motivation solely comes from a critical comparison of my past self, and where I am today with my creative process. Even though I seek inspiration from several sources, most of my imagery is inspired by my journey through the perspective of, the Indian Vedic science and modern science, that allows me to build a deeper connection and understanding with all of my subjects.
How do you make it?
Creating while also multitasking with our day to day life can be extremely challenging for artists. Practicing how to focus and execute every project is much harder for an artist as compared to a less aware, artistic mind. The essential tool for creating is emotion. Allowing yourself to feel and expressing oneself with no preconceived notions is an intense journey, but also the only route to success. To be able to create one has to learn how to lose themselves completely in every experience, and then find themselves again. Most artists spend their entire lives trying to master their art through this technique while also, learning how to sustain their sanity in society. To accomplish this, one requires excellent mentors and patience.
What does your art mean to you?
The art of following your hearth is not an easy route. To achieve this one has to be aware of the coexistence of “possibility” in every situation. As an artist living in society has not been easy and breaking the mold of sociological constructs, and fighting to be on my own time, has been a very intense but highly educative experience. My art is an expression of the transformation of the struggles and victories that I have experienced, during my journey over the years.
"Art is my essential tool for sustaining a fulfilling life".