Published August 2009 Vol. 13 Issue 7
by Natalie Covert
Ravi Zupa can’t say his life has changed since the recent “world ending” recession. The Denver artist continues to live simply and make art daily. He works independently and sets his own schedule, being sustained through art sales, video projects, and his recent Westword MasterMind Award for Video/Film/Multimedia. He moves easily from making multimedia compositions rich in illustration, to short films and music videos.
To know Ravi and see his self-portraits is to witness contradictions he uses throughout his artwork. His self-portraits can suggest an intense character—bald with a straggly beard and dark piercing eyes; face-to-face, he reveals himself as quiet and humble—if not sweet.
Drawing from various religions and cultures, Zupa creates a myriad of mythological scenes featuring contrasts of character. A Mayan God holds a pistol to his neck. Armed soldiers bare the wings of an archangel. A multi-armed Robot God sprouts from a lotus flower.
By combining a wide assortment of icons, Zupa compels viewers to unveil the mystery behind his sometimes obscure connections. Taking the opportunity to ask him some questions, we interviewed him about his work and inspirations.