Sarasvathy TK, Artist

Sarasvathy TK, Artist

Sarasvathy TK paints hyper realistic still lifes that infuse the European still life tradition with new global flavors. Starting each piece in her New Jersey kitchen, she prepares recipes from her native India and beyond. Then in her studio, she renders each dish in oil on canvas, from the distinctive puff of the Chola bhatture to the glistening oil fritter, Onion Pakora. Each mouthwatering painting becomes a vessel for the artist to honor her ancestral traditions, channeling the influence of British and American Pop with a brash energy that is very much contemporary.  

Drawing on her background in computer science, Sarasvathy creates her eye-tricking works with a process that involves cooking, plating and lighting– followed by hundreds of photographs and sketches, where each component requires extensive detailing and exactitude. At first, she cooked recipes from her family in her native Chennai, and then from many other places in India. Before she serves each meal to her family, she documents the food. Using her photos, along with other images she finds in magazines and the internet, she renders the dishes using the same techniques that Baroque painters brought to the traditional vanitas.  Each canvas invites intimate engagement, stimulating the senses and sparking personal reflections on how dishes travel across generations and oceans. 

Sarasvathy began drawing and painting while she was traveling internationally for her work in computer science, which she studied in India. After working on projects in the UAE and Singapore, she moved to Princeton, New Jersey, in 2017. She won an Award of Merit from the American Women Artist Association in 2020. To mark World Idli Day on March 30, Sarasvathy released a limited edition of 22 postal stamps featuring her detailed painting of the distinctive steamed delicacy. https://www.instagram.com/sarasvathytk/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading&hl=en www.sarasvathytk.com