An Artist Beyond The Realms Of Reality – BINOJ BALAKRISHNA

Binoj Balakrishna, if I may rechristen him, The Night Watcher, would have been just another Mallu doing the right thing and pursuing an education in engineering, had he not landed a seat in NIFT. Not born with the gift of gab or an ability to express through his pen, the introvert in him started growing wings at the institute and his silence started manifesting itself in screaming alternate realities. He started observing life from the point of view of ordinary mundane objects etched indelibly on his mind and found himself creating a new world which was dark, dreamy and intriguing. Going beyond the realms of reality, he enthralled art lovers across the globe with his visual delights like The Feeding Sewing Machine, Feeding Gloves, Compact Fluorescent Fossil, Aphrodite, Daydreams, Tool of Love and with Tailored Tales and Aanachamayam series of new media creations.

1. Binoj, dark, dreamy and alternative reality are some of the words that define your work. Was wondering about the thought process that pushes you into the ideation and creation of your intricate pieces.

Well I was left with right education which is design and a genuine artistic rage plus the symptoms of a stereotypical Piscean , extreme sensitivity and emotional ecstasy to top it up. At that time what felt like dilemma later on went on to become my USP as a creative individual. I was not so sure at that point in time weather i really wanted to be known as an artist,all i wanted was to express myself and trigger conversations. If Art is the label for self expression -then i am cool with it.Having said that Dark, Dreamy alternate reality all are again labels happened over a course of time. I was not purposefully creating an alternate reality it started with addressing what is real for me.In the chaos of finding a place i ended up creating one naturally. Realising the fact my uniqueness is defined by birth and the way i see and experience things in itself was good enough genuine differentiators for me. Its amazing to find out at times how the more personal you get the more universal you become . That became the core and flavour of my expressions.

2. You are a fashion designer by profession and also a visual artist whose work borders on delicious insanity. What is your artistic world view which you choose to embellish with the masterly creations made out of ordinary everyday objects like scissors, sewing machine and water spray etc.?

Daydreams and sleepless nights pretty-much summarises my journey . There was a time living felt too mechanical and that’s when i started to develop a certain sensitivity towards objects. objectified forms-made with a purpose meant for a solution. Used and abused. Observing what life meant from the edge of their reality felt more relatable, an opportunity in disguise to hold on. I stumbled up on organic and inorganic forms in my childhood memories and dreams. The ones with certain emotive value became significant like words in poetry.I felt like a child again, in my yard these pieces metamorphosed into beautiful toys to play with. The oldest memory of a sewing machine was when grand mother used to send me to the village tailor to stitch the borders of a new sari and on the way I used to get stopped by this mad cow, the only time it didn’t scare me away was when she was feeding the calf. The machine again reappeared in my stitching lab with scissors . the most basic tools used to form the foundation of fashion, at this time as the source of my daily milk. It was something worth capturing so i created “The Feeding Sewing Machine” and surprisingly in a month or so it was exhibited at Times square New York . That was a good high a real kick. Later i went on to conceptualise a series called Tailored Tales ,work in progress.Every imagery got a story to tell ,Some of the best conversations i ever had. What i am trying to convey here is – My works are merely a journal of life events, instead of writing it down I choose to convey it through a visual medium where slices of reality and dust of my dreams are morphed together. For the viewers it may appear as insanely surreal but for me it is incredibly sane and as real as it can get, being just the traces of my imagination teasing yours!

3. Your work is avant-garde and surrealistic. What inspires and draws you towards it? And please tell when did you discover that sort of an artist in you?Aesthetics evolved as a product of conscious choices and consistent experimentation. I had my time of being a realist and an impressionist but there was something missing .Realms of reality always felt like an unfinished song. And There was this cure less curiosity in me to find a perfect tune to finish it, In the process of trying to find balance between extremities and seemingly opposite forms I found my salvation . my works turned out to be almost oxymoronic in its nature ,a visual puzzle, hence Surreal. Surrealism for me was an endless canvas with known and unknown territories. A perfect balance of reality and dreams,the beauty of imperfection ,fearless , ambitious ,selfless with a sense of mystery. Now that’s the kind of women i want to be with so I fell in love !.

4. What goes into the evolution of the artist that you chose to become today for the world to know?

In the early stages you have the luxury of choices-one night stands, be casual or in a open relationship with your art. Doesn’t matter what your orientation is. But if you feel your are ready for commitments, the classic couple statements starts to pop up.- give time, go out and spend time together, share the same space give space, so on. Well if you are married to your art then it’s a different ball game altogether, like how they say once the epic honeymoon period is over – its hard work no more excuses n stuff more or less it got all the complexities of a relationship just that divorce is merely an option here.
Being busy is a myth, you need to invest time and let it happen to you. Everyone got their own way of dealing with it but most importantly enjoy the process.I am sure eventually things will work out if you don’t mess up so bad. Even then if you hit the rock bottom just feel the texture, trace it , scratch your name and move on.My be that’s just who I am so wish you luck.
5. Fans, followers, aspirants, interviewers, everyone would want to know about the artists who have inspired you. Would you want to share few names?

Dali influenced me so did Rene Magritte. Banksy, Jean-Michael Basquiat and Jeff Koons are some recent ones.

6. If Binoj Balakrishna is the artist that you are today, where will you be towards the end of your journey? 

Where I am heading is still a mystery to me but I am excited about it. I moved out of fashion, left 7 years of carrier as a designer and joined Cowrks as an Art Director . Into space and experience design now. In a way I do art for living these days and it’s a good balance. Finally I am open to share the stories of my work and let people in to my world ,some genuine audience at least. Trying my luck in writing on popular demand. Digital was a faster medium to express and it helped to create and clear my head when I was occupied with a full time corporate job.I started to paint again and sculpting some works in to actual.Bought some old tailoring machines. Working on a solo exhibition hopefully will hit it soon.

7. Lastly, but most importantly, ART in one sentence for you. 

Art Is an Emergency!.




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