Studio Visit with Kamiesha Garbadawala in Long Island City
On a humid weekday afternoon in early August, after so many DMs of fangirling over each other, I finally got to take in Kamiesha Garbadawala's majestic canvases at her sunny studio in Long Island City. Garbadawala arrived to painting organically and emotionally, through some serious health scares and loss of family. "My work is a reflecion of my life experiences", she shared with me in her space, while elegantly dressed in a black ruffled wrap dress and high strappy heels. Garbadawala's acrylic paintings, which she self-describes as "landscape gestural abstraction markings" possess a high fashion aesthetic. They are glossy and glam, accented with chic metallic touches. Prior to painting, Garbadawala, a native of Westmoreland, Jamaica, worked in fashion. The Parsons alumna, designed for Polo Ralph Lauren, and Henri Bendel, relaunching their private label handbags, as well as her own line (Alric Suba, named after her mother) of high-end distressed bags with Barneys New York.
Garbadawala loves infusing shades of emerald, aquamarine, and ultraviolet, working directly on the canvas, leaving little negative space, in freeform spontaneous patterns. This results in luxurious, visually-seductive, vibrant compositions. In 2018, Garbadawala is fresh off a six-week artist residency with Columbia University's Advanced Painting Intensive and a recent solo summer show titled Sugarcane at Galleria Ca' D'Oro in Chelsea. Garbadawala, is an Upper East Side-based artist, who skillfully balances motherhood, career, and marriage. Garbadawala tells me during the studio visit that it's like "looking at a universe" when a viewer engages with her work, and I'm happy to be let into hers.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY SUNNY LEERASANTHANAH