Mrudhubhashini Vijayakumar is an Indian artist born in the Philippines and raised in India, Indonesia, and Australia and has been living in the United States for the last seven years. After completing a BFA at the School of the Art Institute Chicago she is now graduating with an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine arts at Tufts University. Mrudhubahshini's art practice generally works around the themes of womanhood and what that entails within Indian history both past and present. Through conversations with family and others, she works on depicting and creating conversation through storytelling, with attention to the injustices that women in India face in today's time. Experimentation with materials is a vital part of her practice and presently her work is a combination of painting, sculpture, and print.
Beauty, despite being a subjective concept, has always piqued the curiosity in people. It draws people near and demands attention. However despite observation, people fail to see the true nature of the beautiful subject. Beauty creates a sense of perfection and achievement in the human brain so much so that humans crave beauty in such a way that they feel if they get close enough to it they hope they will absorb some of this beauty. The work I create uses beauty as a trap.
Upon first glance, the work draws the viewer to come closer and closer until their gaze is glued to the work. Once their eyes are latched on, the beauty falls away and the ugliness of the work is revealed through the concept. The viewers have no other choice but to see the ugliness and face reality. I have come to notice in the society that I have grown up in people have become experts in avoiding certain ugly realities as long as their own lives are surrounded by beauty. My sculptural and painterly works depict beautiful subjects to make people face the reality of the world that they live in when the beauty eventually and inevitably fades away. I approach this idea of beauty fading away through Indian mythology. Tradition in India is mainly surrounded with the ideologies of Indian mythology. My works aim to show how I reject some of these unjust ideologies of tradition by rejecting the source which is archaic Indian practices and mythology.
The materials I tend to use mix both extremely conventional media such as oil paint and pastels and mixes them with extremely unconventional mediums such as resin, found objects, and silicone and I push these mediums to their limit by experimenting with them in more of a sculptural way. I also use painterly mediums in sculptural ways and vice versa. The materials I use create a sense of grandeur. The regal quality of the work calls the viewers to invest more time in absorbing the beauty. The use of colors such as gold, bronze, and copper is also used as a symbol of wealth in my culture and in my culture wealth is considered to be the most beautiful thing and people fight themselves tooth and nail in order to get close to it. I use this weakness to entice people to get trapped by the false beauty of my work.