Prarthana Modi

Prarthana Modi (1978, India) is a photographer based in New Delhi.

If you are tired of the noise, of the colourful neon lights, of the flatscreens and the 3d movies, if you are at the point of ripping your clothes off, growing a long beard, and run back to nature to live off roots and berries…stop for a moment. Relax. Let yourself be charmed by the timeless and moving images that Prarthana Modi captures with her elegant black and white. Then, if you still want to escape civilization, we will be happy to drop you in a gas station on a highway of your choice.

Prarthana started her formal training in photography with foundation courses from Central St. Martins School of Art and Design, London and then went on to study at The School of Black & White Photography, London. However, she is mostly self-taught and self-motivated.

Prarthana captures all her images in black & white and shoots on film only. She is a creative photographer, and she masters different techniques including hand printing on silver gelatine archival paper with selenium toning.

About the choice of black and white she writes: “I feel that when I see a photograph shot in colour, I’m so distracted by the colours that I mostly fail to notice if the subject or the photograph as a whole appeals to me.”

The artist gives priority to form, subject matter and narrative. Her images of urban landscapes and their inhabitants are often ambiguous. Her associations and the titles of her works often have an element of humor, as it is visible from photos like Evolution, part of The Public House of Art’s collection The Awesome.

Modi offers a raw, candid vision of her native India, whilst remaining faithful to a traditional, analogue photography.

“Photography for me is a very personal experience. My quest is to see and depict the light… the light within as the light without. It is about using the light outside to make one connect with the light inside. To feel…every photograph I take evokes a certain emotion in me and my effort is to try to make the viewer feel something too…it may be the same emotion that I felt or something totally different. For to feel, is to be human & alive. And yes, to pause and find something to appreciate in the little, mundane, normal things surrounding us. My photography is not limited to India as I strongly feel that one can capture a similar feeling in different images in every part of the world. Emotions, after all, are universal. And I try to portray the inherent ‘sameness’ that we all have through my images.”

She has exhibited her works in solo & group exhibitions in India as well as London, Paris, Shanghai, USA & UK.