Carl Gopalkrishnan (aka Gopal) began his journey as a painter in 1987 while studying design and typography in Western Australia. Since then, he has been exploring our waking dreams and our public and private myths through art on canvas, paper and mixed media. Outside of exhibitions, he is also published in international magazines and journals of poetry, politics and culture.
Born in 1967 in the UK, he began his career as a typographer and designer after studying graphic design in Perth, Western Australia. As a self-taught painter, he worked in a small gallery in the 90s combining practical learning from his peers with academic study.
After completing his BA in History in 1993, and later a First Class Honours in Sociology in 1999 from Murdoch University, Carl began, but later withdrew from, doctoral studies in Melbourne in 2004. He made a conscious decision to use his art as his lens and began an unusual journey collaborating between the worlds of academia, art, politics, music and the company of strangers. This has led to some interesting experiences such as presenting at international intervention workshops in the UK in 2012; painting portraits of a quantum physicist and a politician, and more recently exploring the collision between artists and a jurisprudence of new capabilities for the London Progressive Journal in 2013.
A lifetime interest in consciousness was ignited by stories of his parents war time experiences during and after WW2. The way that past trauma hides in the subconscious and shapes our thoughts is mirrored in our culture. Artistically, this led him to re-visit our surrealist traditions but from the perspective of our 'waking dream' - or what we think is real. In a feature in the New York literary journal Literal Latte in 2009, Carl described a process of resisting the linear narrative.
"I knew a long time ago that I mixed things up more than others. I mix mediums, concepts, words and processes and they all come out at once. It's not logical to others, but to me, well, it makes perfect sense. But it takes real work, and as you delve deeper you focus on quality, on resolved pieces, completed thoughts."
In The Assassination of Judy Garland (2008-12), in which he explored a metaphorical portrait of America, Carl tried to make sense of the current global political crisis using a queer cultural lens. This series completed a decade long body of work that examined the motives behind the post 9/11 war on terror narrative. It includes his 2006 exhibition Sedition and Other Bedtime Stories, and various interviews writings and journal articles. Carl is a non-public funded artist and continues to work in other fields to fund his art practice.
Read more about the galleries of art in this website in 'Gallery Histories & CV'.
View Carl's previous publications, interviews and media in 'In Print'.