Many people often wonder who they would be in another life, what other career path they would choose, and how their lives would be different had they followed other passions. For artist Rahika Gupta-Buckley, this dream is a reality.
Although her love of art started young, Radhika received her law degree from the University of Oxford before practicing law at the Indian Supreme Court and the UN in The Hague.
However, art remained one of her soulmates; she kept her connection throughout law school.
“I have always been very creative and aesthetically inclined. I started painting when I was about six years old, perhaps earlier, and continued with it,” Gupta-Buckley said. “Constantly traveling and being exposed to different cultures allowed me to experience new ideas and influences, and my art became a secret language I would use to communicate with myself.”
After she stopped practicing law, Gupta-Buckley sought another outlet to shine a light on injustices in India.
“After leaving my law career behind, I felt almost helpless to fix many issues and injustices in my country, so I began finding refuge in painting,” the painter said. “I held my first exhibition in 2017, inaugurated by the Cultural Minister of India. I displayed almost 30 pieces – my life’s work! The response was hugely positive, and I’ve never looked back.”
Her work, which follows the beauty of India, also explores her internal dialogue and allows her to challenge herself.
“In the broadest sense, I am inspired by the beauty of India. More personally and on a visceral level, resolving the various contradicting parts of my personality or sometimes egging them on really inspires me. There’s always been an internal tug of war, the more reserved creative against the version pushing my boundaries to claim the things I like aloud without the fear of judgment,” Gupta-Buckley said.
As she has grown as an artist, Gupta-Buckley has learned that the responsibility and weight that comes with using art as “a voice for the silenced and oppressed” requires vulnerability and earnestness to fully show her message in her work.
“When you put your art out into the world, a certain nakedness is required, and I’m still adjusting to it. As I learn to be more fearless, I adopt a more vulnerable and overt way of interacting with the world, which shows in my work. Earnestness is a privilege and something to work towards, and I’m constantly striving to achieve that in my art,” Gupta-Buckley said.
Art enthusiasts and supporters of Gupta-Buckley can look forward to four upcoming shows from the artist. She will be featured in the LREI school auction on May 2, Lifeway Network’s non-profit gala on May 11, the Glass House Summer Party on June 10, a group show in the Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery on July 8 and 9, and will have her solo show at the Band of Vices, which will start on September 23 and run for four weeks.
Find out more about Gupta-Buckley and her work here.