But You and I Are Really One, oil on canvas, 36″ x 36″, 2016
Consciousness, oil on canvas, 36″ x 36″, 2017
Eaten, oil on canvas, 24″ x 48″, 2017
Even Better Than the Real Thing, oil on canvas, 15″ x 30″, 2017
Garden of Eden, oil on canvas, 36″ x 36″, 2017
We Are Not So Different, You and I (part of diptych), oil on canvas, 8″ x 24″ (each panel), 2017
Desire Nothing, oil on canvas, 15″ x 30″, 2017
Everybody’s Got a Hungry Heart, oil on canvas, 48″ x 36″, 2017
I believe in the truth that the world is in you, and not the other way around, that is, that you are a part of the world. To this end, my work explores the human connection that each of us has with the other, as well as with nature. I have always been attracted to the classical form of the nude, and I use it as a springboard to explore a deeper, more spiritual dimension that acknowledges that we are all, in fact, just nature vibrating at different frequencies.
I often place my nudes in bold, colorful, and vibrant settings where they co-exist with their natural environment, sometimes in conflict with nature and sometimes in harmony with it—our ultimate self.
Although several of the paintings above have two or more women in them, both figures represent the same person: my thought here is, because everybody is a part of you, the answers to all questions lie within you. You gravitate toward different people, yet, in essence, you all are the same.
I paint my women in the hues you see when you look at the flowers in your garden or are out in nature, taking a walk. Oranges, blues, marigold yellows, and purples beckon the viewer to enter a contemplative space.
By focusing on certain elements of form and structure, I aim to bring a conscious awareness to the similarities between the curve and graceful arch of the back and the gentle curve of a stem, or the beautiful bend of a wrist to the soft bend of a branch. I hope that in raising awareness, I foster in each of us a certain level of respect for the other.
Finding still so much resistance to the nude, I always question, would we look at a nude differently if we could see it as a natural part of nature? If we could see the body as a flower, as opposed to a sexual object, would we be more respectful? Because, in the end, what matters is awareness and respect.
About the Artist
Born and raised in Bangalore, India, Pooja Campbell has long shown an interest in art, retreating as a child to books and art to block off the sounds of her parents’ constant fights. Surrounded by her grandmother’s paintings, she was inspired to create escapes of her own.
Pooja Campbell moved to the United States in 1995, and received in 1999 a bachelor of fine arts degree, with a concentration in painting, from Montserrat College of Art, in Beverly, Massachusetts. Following a brief stint in Cape Town, South Africa, where she studied textile design, she settled in Maryland to pursue her true love: painting.
Heavily influenced by the colors of India, Pooja Campbell paints in a distinctive style. Her languid figures, easily identifiable by their bold, almost tropical colors, beckon the viewer to draw close and communicate with them. Yet, despite their vividness, they have a quiet, contemplative quality.
Pooja Campbell has exhibited in a number of shows in the U.S., as well as in India, and her art features in numerous private collections.
In 2017, Pooja Campbell was one of six artists selected by a community-supported art venture in Alexandria, Virginia, to create a body of 50 paintings for prospective buyers. Earlier in the same year she had the honor of displaying her work at Baltimore-Washington International Airport as part of a group exhibition curated and hosted by Mrs. Yumi Hogan, wife of the governor of Maryland. In January 2018, Pooja Campbell was given her first solo show, which was a resounding success—more than half of her works on exhibit sold on opening night!
A resident of Maryland, where she lives with her husband and three children, Pooja Campbell maintains a studio at the Artists & Makers Studios complex in Rockville. In addition to working there, she runs bi-monthly open life-drawing sessions, which allow her to share with others her passion for the figure.