Anish Kapoor is an acclaimed British sculptor with roots in India.  He was born in India, but has lived in England for many a decades.  His works include bright medleys of deeply pigmented colors.  The colors are audacious and daring.  He uses reds, yellows, burnt oranges, royal blues, maroons.  Such colors are deeply rooted in the culture and fabric of his birthplace, India.  It is obvious that he was inspired by his roots.


anish kapoor


But, his works also include gigantic stark, bold, curved and metallic forms; almost industrial and space-age in nature.  These sculptures are a significant departure from his colored works.  Such works are indicative of a shift, an evolution, a progression and an expansion in his work.


anish kapoor


I have been discussing inspiration at length in my prior blogs and want to make a shift.  I do not want to discuss the “standard application” of inspiration for example from a magazine, website or even a book.  True, one can get inspired from anything and everything.  The creator of Chanel nail varnishes was inspired by the color on a grocery store bag for creating the Mimosa colored nail vernis (yellow).  So, when it comes to inspiration anything and everything can be inspiring as long as you have an open mind.



Part of our inspiration comes from our roots.  The place of our birth has a genetic predisposition on our thoughts and behavior.  That is why you see Anish Kapoor using deeply pigmented mounds of color in his sculptures.  The colors and the actual forms of the mounds are deep rooted in the traditions of India.  During the festival of colors called Holi, the Indian bazaars are littered with a psychedelic array of optical colors.  The bright blues, fuchsias, reds, oranges, yellows are meant to be besmeared on friends and loved ones in joy and celebration (no, it is not barbaric or offensive, but simply pure fun!)

In addition, the spice markets in India are cluttered with heaps of various shades of red hot chili powder, bright yellow turmeric powder and an array of colors.  Anish’s sculptures are very reminiscent of the Holi festival and the colorful spice bazaars of India.  He was inspired by his roots.

Well that is all very well and good.  But, he just did not stop there.  He evolved.  He did not stagnate.  His took his art form not just a notch higher, but did a paradigm shift by creating industrial looking sculptures.  In fact, he recently designed espresso cups for my favorite brand of coffee, Illy.  As you will note, there is no semblance of color or of Indian origin in the cup.  He released his roots, evolved and made an illusory cup for Illy.


illy coffee


In fashion, art or literature, I have often seen a repetition.  The original work is unique and inspired.  But subsequently there is a repetition.  That is why we see some designers repeating their designs season after season, authors writing books on basically the same story line, a sort of déjà vu, if you will.  Painters following the same theme, work after work.  Directors directing the same plots movie after movie (no pun intended Hangover 2!)  Ironically, if the product becomes commercially successful, the chances of evolution are even less likely as nobody wants to forego a true and tried formula for success.

The point is stagnation leads to decay.  Especially in creative fields, evolution leads to new ideas.  You simply cannot churn out the same old idea and package it with new marketing.  Anish is an example of true creativity as he eschewed inspirational roots for evolution.

In my photo, there is a whiff of my colorful roots of India, but I too eschewed my roots by wearing Church’s men’s oxfords with it.  It is a step towards evolution and  up-rooting.



  • Nice point. My favorite inspirations have been from nature. I’ve created outfits after marvelling at yellow-and-black bumblebees and pretty flowers. The inspirations you cite are interesting.

  • I knew of his work but didn’t know much about his background and now I do.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enlarge my knowledge and horizons as well as my love of color and accessories.
    Your outfit and the strawberry paint are in such relation to one another that it brought a smile to my face while wanting to know: where did you get that necklace and that amazing shirt-dress?!!!!

  • I love the coffee cup–worth hours of meditation. I agree about spices in a market being an inspiration–the yellow of tumeric is amazing…and you are lovely in your curry today.

  • Albert:

    That’s a great point about artists doing something creative to start, then if it works they just copy, copy, copy! So many examples in so many genres come to mind. And it’s a point worth remembering even if one is not an artist. Anyone in any occupation should keep trying to stretch, grow. In my opinion, anyway.

  • Interesting, and love the direction that you took this post. Oh the wonderful & infamous Anish, his excellent works. I always tend to wonder what a person’s roots of influence were and if they even know that it inspires them in the end product of their initial concept.
    I think that it’s logical that we ‘re inspired by our roots, even subconsiously – the way we think how we dress, even in art as well as influence from other elements,( i.e. if we travelled or lived in many other locations). I know for me, my style my art, and mentaility is often influenced by my roots and even places where I’ve spent the most time in earlier years. But, I think like the wonderful Lee McQueen said, “the best inspiration is in nature.” Having an open mind allows you to have limitless inspiration, so it’s a good thing to evolve oneself.
    Though, whether we believe it or not I feel that we always carry some strings from our roots in some way.

    And I agree with you evolution does lead toward new ideas.

    *I love your outfit, and can see your progression toward up-rooting … Amazing necklace!

  • Inspiration is illusive. Sometimes it comes faster than I can capture it. Other days, I feel like I can barely spell “cat” let alone be creative. :)

  • I do believe part of our inspiration comes from our roots. I love colour so I think it is a Brazilian thing. When I talk to some of the people I photograph I sometimes get the most amazing answers when I ask about theie inspiration. No shopping bags yet though…haha. I love the bright colours of these sculptures too. Kisses from Berlin ;o)


  • Brilliant. I had never heard about Anish Kapoor and now I will do the research to learn all about him and his work. Color, shape, captivates the heart and imaginations. I concur with your feelings about stagnation. not moving, not evolving is deterioration. I also think this applies to our perceptions and and thinking. Everything living much evolve and refresh. He is marvelous. what a spacious mind to use vibrant colors and shapes from his roots and to create this understated, elegant and delightful cup and saucer. The oxfords are perfect with your Punjabi pants and tunic.

  • Firstly, love your look here! Love those pants! I love Anish Kapoor’s work. I agree with the point you make. In fact I think inspiration can from anything. I have been often inspired by fruit colors myself, you know :)

  • I LOVE THIS POST! I feel like so much comes from our roots, much more than we might actually think. I was chatting with a friend regarding nature v.s. nurture in regards to our styles and I had not realized how obviously influenced I am by the fashion I was surrounded by in my own home. My mama is a very colorful person she always wore bangles and now so do I, my aunt who also raised me while my mama attended school was a little sassy and I think I have a little of that attitude in the way I dress, and then I grew up in Queens so I definitely have an urban flare…all this I didn’t realized until I really thought about it. But I’m definitely not them, and goes back to your point of being uprooted, taking those roots and growing them into something your own.

    LOVE Anish! When I went to Millennium Park for the first time I literally stood there for hours just circling Cloud Gate. Really I think creativity is all about challenging yourself finding new things about yourself and your expression and Anish and YOU are a wonderful example of that. Your outfit per usual is inspiring, you are so stunning!

  • I agree I am inspired by the most random things. I always get inspired by stopping by your blog and learn interesting things. Thanks for being you and doing what you do!



  • Not only I liked Anish Kapoor work for using colours but also adding colours on it. Genius people should think outside the box.
    Love reading your blog because you always bring the most diversity things that I never thought I would be searching.
    And OMG.. your oxford shirt is fabulous.
    Lee x

  • Such a great post. I love how you link it to creativity itself and the tendency towards repetition. I feel I’m in a creative rut for my blog, but overflowing for other creative projects! Weird how it can’t balance out for me. But, I love the structure and color of your outfit.

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