Rithika Merchant’s thought-provoking and striking work is an exploration of the common thread that runs through different cultures and religions
How were you drawn to art?
RM: I have been artistically inclined from a young age and my parents were always very supportive and encouraging of my need for artistic expression. Though my parents are doctors, they would take me to see art exhibitions in Mumbai and really try to educate me and expose me to art. I remember drawing and painting with my mother as a child and always being encouraged to express myself creatively. I always knew I wanted to be an artist. It is not really something I can explain in words, but there really is nothing else I want to do. I went on to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) from Parsons The New School For Design.
Your work clearly narrates the history, culture, traditions as well as mythology of different countries. How do you create an interpretable art form?
RM: I have always been very interested in the narratives, myths and received histories that are available to us. I am also interested in how these different fragments are ‘woven’ together to form a complete image. Most cultures use imagery to tell stories and represent ideas. I try to use these ancient means of storytelling in a more contemporary context.
The combination of having grown up in India, studied in the U.S.A., traveled extensively and finally settled in Europe is the reason for my interest in the links between cultures. I've been lucky enough to be able to explore different cultures and witness them. Europe and India have such a mixture of different traditions; this has helped me see parallel histories everywhere. The history of myth and traditions shows links between cultures that often isn't highlighted in classical history.
What took you to Barcelona?
RM: After spending three months at an artist residency in the remote, rural town of Mertola which is deep in the desert of the Alentejo region of Portugal, I moved to Lisbon to pursue a career as a visual artist. During my stay there, I met my (now) husband. After, a year in Lisbon we wanted a change - something similar but a little bigger. We had both loved Barcelona when we had visited before, so we decided to just move here, give it a year and see how things went. We fell completely in love with the city and the lifestyle and have been living here ever since. I divide my time between Barcelona and Mumbai.
Which media are you most inclined towards?
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
The Richness Of Handmade
Amit Vijaya and Richard Pandav are committed to bringing together many hands and hearts through their clothing label ‘amrich’
The perfect balance
Aniruddh Mehta is as much graphic designer as visual artist, and he tries to do justice to both through his work at Studio Bigfat
The Nature of Light
Prateek Jain and Gautam Seth of Klove Studio combine the delicacy of hand blown glass with the sturdiness of metals to create a breathtaking range of lighting options.
The Creative curve
As partners at GCD Studios, graphic designers Shahana Jain and Devshree Sahai contribute enthusiastically to the ‘creation of ideas without boundaries’.
All ABOUT SCALE
A well known industrialist, Dr. Naushad Forbes is Co-Chairman, Forbes Marshall, India's leading steam engineering and control instrumentation company. He is on the Board of several educational institutions and public companies and was recently listed in the Indian Express list of the 100 most influential Indians. His is also a familiar name in Indian design circles. As former Chairman Governing Council National Institute of Design (NID), and Chairman India Design Council (IDC), Dr. Forbes has been able to work at bridging the still large gap between industry and design in the country.
NO NEED TO HIDE
By encouraging traditional leather artisans to explore recycled rubber and other material, Sudheer Rajbhar is giving them the opportunity to keep their skills alive
A NATURAL INSTINCT
Nibha Sikander’s 3D figures of birds and insects are intended to draw attention to the wonders of nature. She tells Sonalee Tomar of ‘The Indian Curator’ how she was drawn to the art of paper-cutting.
A moving experience
Amrish Patel and Darshan Soni came together to share a common vision that has since come alive through striking explorations of kinetic art
Giving New Dimension To Space
Over a 20-year career, Shobhana Hadap has effectively managed to combine her graphic design skills with her love for space design. She tells POOL how she and the team at Pune-based Studio Mars create memorable multidimensional brand experiences for a variety of clients.
Function As Much As Form
Communication designer Varun Panesar’s idea to use better layouts to improve physical products took a surprising turn when he designed his first wallet
News FROM THE WORLD OF MEDICINE
Exposure to loud noise, such as an earsplitting concert, is a common cause of hearing loss. But now we may have a way to prevent it.
GOOGLE GETS MORE MULTILINGUAL, BUT WILL IT GET THE NUANCE?
About 10 million people speak Quechua, but trying to automatically translate emails and text messages into the most widely spoken Indigenous language family in the Americas was long all but impossible.
А Taste Of the Rainbow
It's no longer black, blue or green. In recent years, the watch industry has undoubtedly developed a taste for colorful executions. A look at some of the most recent releases.
STUDY IN TEXTURE
A seaside family home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, gets a fresh living room design with the help of a New York designer.
ROUNDING LIFE'S SECOND CURVE A HARD ROAD OF SELF DISCOVERY
It took Jack Craven 20 years to grasp that running his family’s wholesale business selling goods to discount stores wasn’t how he wanted to spend the second half of his life. He also figured out his ever-mounting unhappiness had taken a toll on his relationships with loved ones.
The Golden Child
Convenient and tasty, turmeric gummies are the hottest new supplement promising to fight inflammation and improve your health—but do they really deliver?
Meet Your Hands
Get a grip on how your hands work-and how to keep them healthy so they can write, play, text, and touch for life.
Your Skin Looks Good in Here
And no, it’s not just the lighting. The best beauty products may be born in beautiful rooms.
Author Don Winslow Says Your Weed Habit Finances Killers
The blockbuster writer on bad guys (there are plenty in ‘The Cartel,’ his latest inspired-by true-life novel) and good sex scenes
Another Battle Brews in Europe
As the war in Ukraine rages, a second conflict is heating up between Russian ally Armenia and neighboring Azerbaijan