SHARON OTMAR,
Artist ‘Art for Hearts’ Gallery Fundraiser
100% of the proceeds go to Links Charitable Trust

SHARON OTMAR EdM, MA

ARTIST & ACTIVIST | MUMBAI & NYC

Instagram: @ocdartinmumbai @brooklynmamainmumbai

Each of Sharon’s works tells a story; vibrant colours jostle for space, fluid forms nudge and prod at each other, vying for attention. These painted canvases open up landscapes within the artist’s mind, the world gets transmuted into happy splotches and drips of pure joy. Sharon’s background in psychology and experience with working with children and mental health equipped her to plumb the depths of her creative streak, to create works that seek to capture a sense of wildness and immediacy.
The works could be the love child of Basquiat and Mondrian; visually too they represent for Sharon the internal dialogue between her inner OCD-self and her cerebral need to rebel against the order. She prefers to let paint lead the way, following its movement with intuitive gestures that bring to mind the great gestural painters of the 20th century.
Sharon insists on using her powers for good, using her art to express and soothe an hyper-active mind, funneling her thoughts and energies into paint. The works on display were created during the pandemic and channel a universal urge to create sense out of despair, hope from near apocalyptic conditions, order in the face of chaos. Not one to shy away from drama, Sharon’s playful side is further revealed in the expressive titles of the works, a story or encounter encoded into each playfully named work.
Curated by Jalpa H Vithalani, Founder, Cosmic Heart Gallery
“As a curator I was happy to associate with this exhibition & project, as I found many synergies with Sharon - we both have a love for art, for painting, for social work and a dream that beautiful art adorns every home. As an artist she has poured her emotions into an eclectic mix of colours. Her expression on the canvas supersedes her spoken expression. She is strong, compassionate, playful & driven and this reflects in her art and NGO work. I would urge each of you to support this art & the purpose behind it.” - Jalpa H Vithalani, Founder, Cosmic Heart Gallery, Mumbai.
Links Charitable Trust
Linking Children to quality Education, Healthcare, & Life-Saving Medical Treatment.
Links operates in Munnekollal, a below poverty level migrant community within Bangalore where children often suffer from malnutrition along with various, sometimes life-threatening conditions such as heart ailments, neurodegenerative diseases, and other congenital diseases. Because of the migratory nature of their families’ work, children often have not had access to consistent education and are grade-levels behind their peers.
LINKS’ MISSION IS TWO-FOLD:
• To provide quality education for children with gaps in their formal education, who are living below the poverty line, and who are at-risk for malnutrition and exploitation including child labor.
• To advocate, support, and fund life-saving surgeries for children.
WHAT SETS LINKS APART:
Links has been on the ground in the community since 2017 talking to families and seeing the needs first-hand. Links is 100% volunteer run. Every rupee is given directly to fund surgeries or to the educational and nutritional needs of the children of Munnekollal. The Links Team does not take any money for administrative fees nor do they take a salary.
Artist Statement
Sharon’s painting practice Instagram alter ego, OCDartinmumbai, is in many ways, her ideal self. She is messy, shameless, and uninhibited. She shuns perfection and the ‘shoulds’. She often bumps up against Sharon’s ordered, organized, and the exhaustingly clean self her obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) demands. This tug-of-war can be seen vividly in her work as it strives to be an unfiltered, organic expression of raw emotion that comes with letting go and the contradictory desire for some unrealizable idea of perfection evidenced by painstakingly clean lines, textbook color wheel color choice, or that ‘just right’ composition. Sharon’s work is a compromise between these two divergent selves. It showcases the desire for clear structure and form while allowing those elements to be serendipitously brought into existence through the happy and joyful accident of poured paint. The resulting spaces and lines are explored and emphasized through atypical color choices as she allows the painting to set its own form and tone.
Sharon’s self-taught, prolific art practice emerged during the Covid-19 pandemic which created a perfect storm from which her art exploded onto her canvases in large, vibrant and emotion-driven paintings. Painting was the coping mechanism that allowed the artist to quell the often-overwhelming anxiety of the unknown, and the necessary pause that replaced the day-to-day busyness of life, giving her the space and quietness necessary to explore this mechanism for self-healing and mental health. Although Sharon’s work isn’t explicitly about the pandemic, the persistent and pervasive nature of Covid-19 is felt and seen by the infection of color and infusion of movement seen in many of her works.
Sharon’s work is raw, playful and varied as she practices ‘beginner’s mind,’ always attempting to let the practice show what it will as it evolves. She takes one concept to its organic conclusion until a new concept and oftentimes, body of work, is revealed. The artist strives to be open to where the painting in a particular moment of time takes her. Her work can be viewed as a commentary on and a shunning of the impossible standards of beauty society, and specifically social media, imposes. Layering, stopping and starting, scrapping and starting completely over on top of another painting. Reusing canvases. Sharon’s painting practice is about sitting with the imperfect. Celebrating the raw brushstrokes, the often-strange color combinations, and in that imperfection creating something beautiful, that embraces flaws and all.
Paint By Numbers. The body of work is an example of the artist’s internal struggle between letting go and the often-overwhelming need for control. It is the unsettling conflict between the carefree act of poured paint and its resulting spontaneously formed shapes and the artist’s OCD-driven desire to control, to clean up, to organize, to order. The resulting body of work is the compromise between the left and right brain, the id and the superego, the should and the want, the formulaic and the organic, resulting in acceptance of the divergent opposing selves, and ultimately, peace in the time of chaos.
Partners & Sponsors to make this Exhibition a success are -
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