This time, the power of social media let me cut distances and fly directly to the States where the NY based mural artist, Natasha May Platt, takes my mind to the next level: suddenly I’m drawn into a world of beauty, colors, and flowers, where the dream takes over reality. It’s the world of vivid street art, where Natasha talks to people through her splendid artworks, transforming cities’ walls and doors into surfaces of beauty.
- First of all, we would like to get to know you better – What got you interested in art and, specifically, the art of vivid flowers?
I’ve always painted since childhood, and have always been most interested in color. Flowers are a way for me to experiment with color interactions, and mix and blend color in an infinite variety of combinations. It is almost like being an abstract colorist, but the flowers keep my work safely contained in some type of form, which I like. Before I became a full-time artist, I worked in fashion design for 8 years, so I worked a lot with color, florals, and repeating patterns in that context. It has become my visual language at this point.
- I see you’re based in Brooklyn, New York, but I know you have an international experience as you’ve studied in India for quite a while. What did make you choose India for your studies?
I worked for the renowned fashion designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee in Kolkata, India for 3 years. It was my first job out of college, and it shaped me more than any experience in my life. Since I did not study art in college (I graduated from Harvard with a degree in philosophy and religion), Sabyasachi was my first art teacher in many ways. He was an incredible mentor in my life.
I remember he asked me the first day:
“Why have you come all the way from the US to work with me?”
and I told him: “I like the way you use color.”
So it’s always been about color from the beginning. His workshop was an incredible palace of textiles and a wonderland for me. I was able to learn Hindi and interact closely with the artisans and tailors, and the culture, grace, and humility of the lifestyle in India has seeped into my very being.
- Street art in general is born as a form of inspiration, passion, and as a way to communicate with the world. How did you come up with the idea of painting cities’ walls and what was your main goal?
Painting walls seemed to be the most accessible and practical way to get my art out into the world, and I love the power of street art to do exactly that. It is just your work and the people—they get to decide what to make it of it. No gallery, no curator, no gatekeeper.
I’ve always been someone who has carved my own path, and I like to be able to interact directly with the world in the form of street art. My desire in my art is to communicate and transmit the inexpressible, which I try to do with both the vibration of the colors I used and the vibration of my being that has been inextricably embedded into the work as I create it. I hope to elevate consciousness with these subtle vibrations. It’s deeper than bringing nature into the city, but there is an aspect of that in my work as well.
I am a dedicated meditation practitioner, and the vibrations I’ve experienced in my practice is what I hope to infuse into the wall, like a portal or access point for these states of consciousness in our busy world. People don’t even have to be conscious of receiving that energy, but it can still enter their auras as a gentle blessing or elevation.
Actually, many viewers of my work and passersby have used words like “divine portal” to express their appreciation to me, and then I feel content as if I’m on the right track. Many passersby share their religious and spiritual beliefs with me while I am painting, so I definitely think my work evokes that state in people.
- We really hope to see your wonderful pieces of art in Italy too one day. For now, where can we find your artworks in the world?
My work is not in Europe yet, but hoping this year will bring my first piece! Right now, it’s mainly in the US, and also Mexico, Bali, India, and the British Virgin Islands. Mostly warm climates!
Photo credits: Sara Sansom
Let’s really hope to get to see her artworks in our country too. Meanwhile, we can all start dreaming through a screen: find Natasha and her art on Instagram as @surfaceofbeauty