Navigating Social Media As An Artist With Siddharth Kerkar

Siddharth Kerkar was born in an artist family. He is the son of the acclaimed artist Subodh Kerkar who founded the Museum of Goa. Siddharth, himself, is not only an artist, he is also one of the most popular Goan creators on social media. He is closely associated with the Museum of Goa where he has a studio. His works are created with a number of found materials ranging from flip-flops to antlers, iron, and sawdust. Siddharth has exhibited at galleries in India and abroad, and he is also the founder of the Goa Affordable Art Fest which is India’s largest affordable art event in India.

Design Pataki – You’ve spoken about how social media has been instrumental in the success of your art practice. We’d love to know more about how that came about.
Siddharth Kerkar – I feel it is quite important to document your work. In this day and age where social media is so consumed, especially after the lockdown where there’s almost been an 80% hike in viewership, I think it’s the right place to be at. There are so many people who want to learn things from social media, it’s a great place to take inspiration which is why I started in the lockdown where most of us were in our houses. I started documenting my work just with a simple camera and sharing it on my social media. Slowly things started clicking, inquiries were coming in, and people were recreating my works as it was a source of inspiration for others! They also tried to create something completely new, using household materials to create art and repurposing different things. That’s how it started and people became interested in what they were doing!

Design Pataki – How do you strike a balance between creating art and creating content? Given that as an artist, creativity is never constant or linear.
Siddharth Kerkar – I am kind of juggling between two lives here! But I feel when it comes to social media and ‘influencing’ I’ve always loved creating – whether it’s creating videos or creating pieces of furniture or whether it’s creating art! Even if you see my videos, they are super creative. So, now I have stitched the two worlds together. For example, if I am promoting a shirt on my influence page, I’ll probably be wearing the same shirt while I paint in my studio. The idea is to show how comfortable the shirt is in my day-to-day life while I am painting instead of simply making a fashion video out of it. There are a lot of sustainable brands I’ve partnered with as my work is also about epoxying materials.

Design Pataki – Do you find that Goa’s art scene inspires or influences your art?
Siddharth Kerkar – I love to play with different pigments and red oxide is one of them! The benches that you find outside Goan houses are all coloured in red oxide. I also use yellow oxide, depending on whatever I find. I don’t really go and buy anything from the market, it’s usually the things I find around my studio. There was a point where for one year I just collected flip-flops from the beach and I would cut them open for my work!

Design Pataki – Who have been some of your greatest inspirational artists?
Siddharth Kerkar – For me, one of the artists is Anselm Kiefer in terms of materials and scale! Sean Scully when it comes to colours and Mark Rothko when it comes to minimalism! Then there’s Alberto Burri who cuts the canvas, you know makes a slice in the canvas! Basically, people who like to explore a third dimension to paintings like a texture or a cut or even stretched in a different way.