Helene Mukhtar is a New York artist with international roots. Born in France, she now lives in Brooklyn and travels extensively. Married to a New Yorker hailing from the Indian subcontinent, she has had the opportunity to immerse herself in a totally different Eastern culture. This internationalism is reflected in her work.
Her own photographs are usually at the basis of her creative process. They are transferred or glued to the canvas and become a visual jumping point from where she puzzles out what each piece will be. “It is a dialogue,’ says Mukhtar,” between the collages, the canvas and the paint. I constantly construct and destroy, frequently wiping out what I have just done. It is a slow process, but then eventually, everything starts falling into place”. This intuitive approach and openness to her creative process allows Mukhtar to end up with a harmony of sometimes disparate collage elements and muscular, often geometrical slices of color.
She received a MFA from Florida State University in 2006.
Artist statementIn my art, I investigate the uncertainty and unease created by what is happening all around us: terrorism, globalization, the warming of the planet, the uneasy East/West relationship. My own photographs, newspaper clippings or maps provide an anchor around which I build a harmonious yet intriguing relationship between paint and collages.
In my series ‘Subways’, I contrast the vulnerability of the subway riders to their surroundings. The riders are reduced to “subway legs” that evolve in an angular, distorted and somewhat threatening environment.
The series ‘Graffiti’ is inspired by student demonstrations in France against new labor laws. In these paintings, I choose to express the fear of an uncertain future through organic shapes, evolving and swirling in an empty space.
Harmony’ is an attempt to reconcile 2 geometrical symbols, the circle and the line through the imagery of architecture and music.
“East West’ explores the visual complementarities between Western graffiti and images from Pakistan.
My most recent work is inspired by photographs of graffiti shot in New York, Paris and Berlin.