‘The Inspired Frame’ an Interview with Rohit
Indira Laskhmi Prasad
Rohit Chawla’s rich background in fashion photography has come to full fruition with this latest collection of works.
The opulent setting of Bikaner House, New Delhi was a very fitting location for the renowned photographer Rohit Chawla’s recent solo exhibition ‘The Inspired Frame’, with its walls painted a granite shade of grey especially to highlight the works. This is a vibrant spectacle of multi-layered photographs, taking inspiration from three contrasting legendary portrait artists – Gustav Klimt, Friday Kahlo and Raja Ravi Varma. ‘The Inspired Frame’ is in many ways an exploration of the feminine sensual body, with Chawla’s own reconstructions of famous works by the three artists, who each are celebrated for their distinct portrayals of the female body, and in turn, aspects of the human condition. Also featured was a collection of distinctly Indian Miniatures where Chawla creates beautifully layered environments, immersing his male subjects in a lavish world.
Rohit Chawla’s rich background in fashion photography has come to full fruition with this latest collection of works. There is a meticulous perfection within each frame, a marriage of 3D and 2D, as Chawla explains the intensive construction of each 3D prop to correspond with the imagery in the original paintings.
There is an unmistakably painterly quality to this series of works, not a traditional photography exhibition in the slightest, but a hybrid of modern painting aesthetics, contemporary fashion photography, and something altogether novel.
Indira Laskhmi Prasad: I’m sure you’ve heard this question numerous times, but what initially inspired you to transition to Fine Art Photography? As I’m aware you began your career in marketing and Fashion Photography.
Rohit Chawla: I started my professional career in advertising, and before I was in advertising I was doing a lot of fashion and lifestyle photography. But I think there comes a time when you outgrow advertising. In my opinion if you stay in advertising after 40 you start to stagnate, there’s nothing more after a certain point. I had enough of advertising by the time I was 40 and moved onto different things. I started working on commercials and films.
ILP: Was there a certain level of disillusionment with the industry you were in which made you wish to change course?