Habitat is a weekly series that visits with artists in their workspaces.
This week’s studio: Chitra Ganesh; Boerum Hill, Brooklyn. “I try to spend as much studio time as possible doing what visual artists would like to be doing all of the time—making preparatory sketches, doing visual research, and experimenting with materials and compositions,” Ganesh said, leading me around her Brooklyn studio.
Recently, her studio was taken over by a sculptural project, a poem made out of braided hair, which is currently on view at Sean Kelly Gallery. “I was working on this piece while creating sketches on my computer using a digital tablet, scanned drawings, and photographs for an upcoming solo exhibition of paintings and mixed media works at Gallery Wendi Norris in San Francisco.” Currently, Ganesh is also researching turn of the century architecture and science fiction for a print project with Durham Press and preparing for an exhibition of Index of the Disappeared, an on-going collaboration with artist Mariam Ghani, which will include an installation at the Dhaka Art Summit in Bangladesh in February 2016. After that, Ganesh has an artist residency at NIROX in South Africa, will be the Estelle Lebowitz visiting artist in residence at Rutgers University, and an Open Sessions Fellow at the Drawing Center for the 2015-2017 cycle.
“In the studio I listen to lots of different music, and also a number of podcasts,” she said. “Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Le Tigre, Elysian Fields, Superaquello, and the Trojan Upsetter Box Set are some of my all time favorites. I listen to a lot of public radio and readings of fiction and poetry as well.”
Ganesh prefers to work in the mornings and afternoons when she can maximize the light quality and think for an uninterrupted stretch of time. “Most of the time, I am working on several things at once, with the help of several assistants, while we listen to the radio, chat, and occasionally talk about art we love.” Below, Ganesh takes us around her Brooklyn studio space.
ALL PHOTOS: KATHERINE MCMAHON