When art meets queerness, it’s almost as if something magical is created. This is the exact thought that comes to your mind when you see 23-year-old Veer Misra’s art. Veer’s art is all about subtlety and boldness. This week, we chat with him about art and life. Let us hear what he has to say…
Realizing That He Was Different
I’ve always known at some level. Between my more feminine interests to being friends with girls, I think I’ve always subscribed to a certain idea of femininity more than other boys my age did. I was bullied, but I don’t think I ever questioned the way I was with regard to my personality or interests. I think I became consciously aware of my sexuality at the age of 15. It was only really at 18 that I was able to say it to myself. Some of the YouTubers I used to follow back then, had posted coming out videos. This made me more mature. Those videos triggered something in me. Finally, I had to acknowledge it to myself. I told my circle of friends and was pleasantly both surprised and not surprised that I’d surrounded myself with people who either already knew or were just the best about it.
Parents’ Response To Coming Out
I came out to my family when I was 19. They supported me completely. Like any family in our culture, a certain degree of unlearning and deprogramming has to follow and take its time. But I feel their support. And I’m extremely lucky and privileged for it. Along with telling my parents, I researched a lot on the internet. The internet is the most wonderful resource when used right. I had a night where I sat watching every coming out video on youtube, read endless Reddit threads and Tumblr posts on every possible result coming out could have.
Thoughts About Love
I like to think of myself as an absolutely hopeless romantic with exceptionally high standards. Those two things, unfortunately, don’t always work in tandem with each other. I’ve had some fulfilling relationships with very bitter ends, but I’ve grown and evolved from both. It is because my art is so personal to me. I am able to process the dissolution of what I considered to be two very epic loves at the time. I still wonder what went wrong both times but all in all, believing everything happens for a reason. Presently, I’m anticipating some large shifts in my life and I’m not sure I have it in me, to give a boyfriend the time/devotion they would deserve. At the same time, stranger things have happened, especially with the pandemic at the moment, I think it’s safe to say we don’t know what our lives will look like tomorrow.
Queer Art In Today’s World
I think all art made by queer people is queer art. We’re slowly but steadily being able to create our own audiences and cultivate our niches within the art world. However, providing queer artists’ opportunities outside of queer-themed projects is potentially the way forward for creating awareness.
What Pushed Him To Make An Artsy Career
I’ve been drawing since I was 2 years old, so really it was possibly a tree or something like that. And I’ve really been drawing ever since my life is literally just a constant stream of drawing after drawing because that’s how I’m able to both deal as well as escape my somewhat turbulent emotional state. But as for my journey, it’s really been drawing all the skill-oriented stuff you learn to do when you’re younger slowly growing into what I do right now. I think my point of view is developing more and more every day. As long as I can’t stand what I did 2 years ago upon seeing it again, I feel like I’m on the right track.
India’s outlook towards the LGBTQ community is slow but it’s changing. There are so so many people working really hard to create change, but this fight is much more of a marathon than a sprint. I think we also tend to demonize or villainize situations in small towns or villages while both actively ignoring our privilege and not necessarily taking care of the problems in the spaces we occupy first.
India is different from its other countries when it comes to the representation of queer people. My largest comparison is Switzerland because I spent two months there last year on an art residency. The situation in Switzerland is slightly disconcerting as well. My expected golden impression of the West gently shattered. Like many other places, Switzerland is also facing a terrifying Right resurgence. I had the opportunity to meet only a few queer persons during my stay there and the stories they had to tell with regards to Right-wing religious groups spreading propaganda about the community along with attempts to pass a bill that would essentially undo their anti-discrimination law were eye-opening to say the very least. It’s a battle everywhere, but the determination, resilience, and fight of queer people is also unparalleled.
Advising Five-year-old Veer About Life
Your sensitivity is your biggest strength. It’s alright and valid to be upset when people say mean things to you. I can’t change what people are going to say to you, or the damage that it will leave. But you’re going to grow into an unstoppable force of ambition and love.