Me and Mr. Darcy



By Monique Gajadhar

Article #012


Sipping tea, ripping out pages and sticking 'em on the wall...
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Pablo Picasso

I was rummaging through some of my old books and magazines and I came across a box labeled OLDSKOOL. My heart jumped because I knew exactly what was in there.

When I was in college I used to buy the latest editions of fashion, design and art magazines. Inspired by all the beautiful, exciting, thought-provoking, artsy images, I devoured them the same day, only to rip ’em apart the next. Kind of. My professors at the Academy of Arts, encouraged me and my college friends to seek inspiration from both within and without. To create art, they proclaimed, one must see things with a new set of eyes and an open mind.

And that is exactly what we did. We looked for inspiration everywhere. In the people we would meet. The stuff we would see. The things we would hear, touch, smell, and taste. Extra sensory alertness of the freeing kind, and life as an art student was sublime. My mind was openend and I learned to see things in a new light. A pack of M&M’s became a color scheme for a collection. A Buddhist monk I met on the train, dressed in orange cotton and carrying a bag of books, was now the trigger for my series of paintings about sex. My mom’s ugly curtains all of a sudden seemed incredibly contemporary and revolutionary. How I loved the influx of commonalities turned genius. Those days were the start of my gradual and conscious change.

You see, I come from a pretty traditional and conservative background, so my time spent in college truly felt like an immediate relief. Everything was so dramatically delightful and ‘filmy’. It was heavy and light, dark and bright, hot and cold, all at the same time. Very Bollywoodsy but without the social constrictions.

To create art, they proclaimed, one must see things with a new set of eyes and an open mind.

I have amazing memories of those days, so you can surely imagine that stumbling upon this black box felt like coming home. It immediately brought me back to a part of my life where I was a wildly expressive and inexhaustibly outspoken 20 year old.

I still am, don’t get me wrong, but I forgot how much power there is in art. Loosing yourself in the beauty and mystery of paintings, sculptures, stories and music is like the moment just before you fall in love. You’re mystified and you don’t understand what the heck you’re looking at, but you know it’s going to be great…and then you dive in head first. We should all do that.

Anywho… I would love to show you all of my ‘old’ ripped out magazine pages, the ones that I had taped on my ‘inspiration’ wall in the studio (you can still see the yellow and black pieces of tape), show you some of the weird ass things I’d be fascinated with, but you’d be here forever, and I might freak you out . So, let’s not.

There will be plenty of more to see and share in the time to come, but until then, here are 7 of my (not so shocking) favorites.

Sending you bucket full of 90s I-Ds all the way from here to wherever you are.



Me and Mr. Darcy


Me and Mr. Darcy

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