Chandrika Marla
My work explores identity. I am inspired by women, their relationships with others, and with their own selves.

Having worked as a fashion designer for many years, I choose to express my ideas through depictions of the female torso. The torso itself is suggestive of the fragmented lives that women lead despite their desire to have it all.

In my recent work, parts of the form are likened to landscapes. Our memory fills in the missing areas, and we subconsciously complete the picture. Breasts loom like hearts that are distorted but triumphant, and shoulders in simple shapes portray the friends that stand by us.

There are many layers in each painting, scraped and scratched to reveal past colors – jogging our memories to consider what we have lost and gained. The lines are blurred, and I sometimes add paper to help resolve the shapes. I have always been inspired by Rothko and find myself dwelling on these words, “We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth."