Priya Rama's art is born from her chronic migraines. When one begins, along with the pain and pressure, colors and shapes appear in her mind's eye. These get transformed into hyperchromatic paintings of identity, resilience, and tenacity. An abstract expressionist, her paintings highlight a spontaneous, intuitive, and personal mark-making, with rich color and palpable texture. Her paintings especially explore dualities-- of pain/beauty, emphatic color/delicate brush lines, rich details/quiet resting spots, spontaneity/deliberate placement, translucency/opacity, and contemplation/assertion.
Priya Rama's works often feature reference points from her cultural background and upbringing: dots and circles from Tamil 'kolam', vibrant colors of cultural and physical surroundings, motifs of traditional fabrics, and layers of the past intertwining with the present. The artist’s paintings can be found in private and corporate collections around the country. She has also been interviewed for multiple print and online publications, as well as regional and national media including an interview for CBS’ ‘Sunday Morning with Jane Pauley.” Priya Rama is represented by Mary Martin Galleries in Charleston, SC.
Fine Arts Education
2012-14 Doctoral Studies, ABD, Arts Administration, Education and Policy The Ohio State University
2012 MA Visual Arts Education University of Cincinnati
1998 BFA Communication Arts and Design Virginia Commonwealth University
My art, like my life, revolves around my chronic migraines. When a migraine comes on, even with my eyes closed, I "see" things. Colors and shapes flood my mind in fluid poetry. These mystical images recede, shift, radiate and pulse, becoming more vibrant and vivid as time goes on. Frequently, I paint through a migraine, trying to quickly tap into what I see. When I can't, I am able to recall the imagery at a later time and commit that to canvas.
Each piece I create evolves from a meditative and introspective process, wherein I become one with my art: it is being aware in that moment, being mindful, acknowledging the pain and chaos, and losing myself to the visual symphony that unfolds. Some notes are peaceful, while others are discordant.
My paintings especially explore dualities-- of pain/beauty, emphatic color/delicate brush lines, rich details/quiet resting spots, spontaneity/deliberate placement, translucency/opacity, and contemplation/assertion.
I train myself to paint through the painful discomfort: My breathing slows down, my jaw unclenches, and my body slowly begins to relax. Often, completing a painting comes as a relief, and reminds me that my mind can do more than just process pain: it can transform pain into beauty.
I think of myself as an abstract expressionist, with my paintings highlighting a spontaneous, intuitive and personal mark-making. Even though I wouldn't call my paintings portraits, all of my works are self-portraits in a way. My art is part of me, and I am part of my art. My paintings emerge from within. They are part of an ongoing conversation with myself that I have had since my childhood.
I am an abstract expressionist who paints the stunningly colorful images that I experience inside my head during my chronic migraine attacks. However, I am more than just this aspect. I am a visual learner whose life experiences of absorbing the world in terms of color, textures, dimensions, light and shadow have all come together in what I create.
My story and my unique paintings have garnered national attention. I have been blessed with many opportunities to share what I do. I am including here a few of these--
Mary Martin has collections of art showing at the Andell Inn - Kiawah Island, Bella Grace, the Harbour Club, The Vendue Inn, and other venues. Mary Martin Galleries have been selected as the best galleries in South Carolina for twelve years in a row and in the top 20 galleries in the nation, Also, selected as the best gallery by several local publications. We have wonderful financing options to assist in getting the right masterpiece for you.