Geometric Greatness

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Habitual | 23 February 2018

“Everything is a matter of point of view and life is all about how you want to experience it. We often get lost in petty concerns but a shift of outlook can put things in perspective. Ironically, it’s a lesson I need to teach myself the most.” Bright, bold and extremely palatable, Aakash Nihalani’s work is simply too eye catching to be missed.

A child of Queens, New York, American urban artist Aakash Nihalani creates the illusion of 3D geometrics on two-dimensional surfaces. Nihalani’s work has the ability of catching one’s attention at the moment of notice and carries the essence of pure entertainment. Armed with his trusty fluorescent tape, Nihalani uses the repetition of isometric squares and rectangles to create interactive temporary installations in public areas.

Tape, other than corrugated boards, plays a large role in Nihalani’s work; it all started at a student exhibition back when he was pursuing his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Nihalani stumbled upon the use of tape by accident; he had a blue painter’s roll of tape and was using it to attach screen prints onto the wall when he chanced upon the casting of a cubic shadow by a pedestal in the space that matched the shapes he was using in his prints. He then went about outlining the shadow with tape and at that moment, something just clicked for him.

Nihalani’s work and aesthetic is a translation of New York’s repetitive architecture, comprising big boxes divided into smaller boxes, and largely made up of bright colours to contrast the city’s neutral tones.

“What makes things even more interesting is when you start stacking shapes and they somewhat lose dimension. For example, a brick wall is made out of three-dimensional bricks, but once completed all you see is the two dimensional pattern. There’s something fascinating about how the 3D feel is lost through the stacking process. Your pieces look like they’ve been made digitally. Though on one hand your art seems to react to architecture, it also appears to have accepted – in a playful way – that technology is an important part of our culture.” — Nihalani in an interview with Trend Visions.

Over the years, Nihalani has grown from creating lone pieces to incorporating live interaction in his street spectacles; 2015 marked the creation of a series of projector interactive installation that responds to the movement of subjects standing in front of them.

“As with my street installations, these works not only invite human interaction but cannot fully exist without it, ultimately revealing as much of the individual as the piece itself. The viewer has always been an essential element in my street art, bringing the work to life by creating a unique experience for each individual interacting with it. I wanted to explore translating this tangible relationship into a digital one, ” Nihalani described to My Modern Met.

To view more of Nihalani’s work, click here.

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