Chandrika Marla

Her Silence was Golden (2013)
acrylic and Japanese handmade paper and oil paint on canvas
30 x 30 in.

My work explores female identity. I am inspired by women, their relationships with others, and with their own selves.

I was a fashion designer for many years and as an artist, still express my ideas through depictions of the female torso. The torso itself is suggestive of the fragmented lives that women lead in their desire to have it all. Despite achieving so much, there is a sense of loss that leaves us feeling incomplete.

In my recent work, parts of the form are likened to landscapes. Our memory fills in the missing pieces, and we subconsciously imagine that which is not there. My paintings push us to find the whole that we crave and deserve.

There are many layers in my work, scraped and scratched to reveal past colors, as if cajoling a response from our own lives to process what we have lost and gained. The lines are blurred, and I add paper to help resolve the shapes. I have always been inspired by Rothko and find myself dwelling on these words, “We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth.”