Shrey Purohit, the Ingleside-based artist, is raising money to help those who are impacted by the current upswell of COVID-19 cases in his home country of India.
Purohit’s fundraiser, which is taking place on Instagram, encourages donations to GiveIndia’s COVID-19 Response Fund, which provides oxygen equipment to hospitals, distributes money to families who have lost loved ones and sets up hospitals, according to the project website.
Purohit chose to fundraise for GiveIndia in particular because it provides the best tangible relief among organizations in India.
“They were really dedicated to helping people when the government was unable or unwilling, establishing COVID-19 hospitals and organizing food drives during the most intense periods of crisis,” Purohit said.
As a way of emotionally and artistically processing the dire crisis and as a way of raising funds, Purohit is painting images of pyres and makeshift crematoriums, based on images from photojournalists, and documenting the development of those paintings on Instagram.
Painting from photographs has allowed Purohit to develop new techniques, such as working with image grids to compose his paintings. The technical nature of the work allows Purohit to paint faster and to achieve an emotional distance from the distressing subject matter.
Purohit has raised $400 to date, and his fundraiser is ongoing.
“The process has been emotional and I’ve felt hopeless,” Purohit said. “But because of the response I’ve gotten, I’ve felt hopeful in humanity and the ways that we can come together in times of hopelessness and despair to help each other.”
For every donation made, no matter the amount, Purohit will send a print of one of his paintings. The painting that Purohit has chosen depicts a sunrise.
“It sends a hopeful message,” Purohit said.
Information about the fundraiser can be found on Purohit’s Instagram @shreypurohit.
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