We must revel in the uncertainty, milk the spirit of adventure, wake up every day to a different kind of sky, go to sleep every night to a different kind of moon. What drives me every single day is an insatiable curiosity about the better version of myself that’s coming tomorrow.Gopal Divan
Gopal Divan, a New York-based actor, is lightyears ahead of most in figuring out what it means to be an artist. He shared his philosophy on the creative life while walking the streets of Manhattan with us on a sunny, Sunday afternoon. Here’s an excerpt of that conversation from our Winter 2018 print edition.
EXT. 40 BOND STREET, NOHO – AFTERNOON
Liv is at her camera. Her finger dances on the shutter as her subject, actor Gopal Divan, teases the lens with his eyes, interchanging personas. Together, they try to find their rhythm.
Do you think most of the people who live in this building are unhappy?
That is a little bit of a broad assumption. We have to ask what that means… unhappiness could be said to be the dichotomy between following our truth and following what we have been made to believe is our truth. The bigger the angle of deviation between the two, the more unhappy we become. Heaven and hell exist on earth. And we have a choice.
Gopal is momentarily distracted by a vintage car and moves towards it, seduced by its beauty. Liv follows him, clicking away.
Artists are well-known for being eternally caught between this heaven and hell.
But I do wonder if artists tend to have this hyper-awareness of the needs of their industry, and those of society, while trying to fulfill their own passion and purpose.
We walk towards Chinatown weaving through the crowds of people, fresh food markets and bubble tea shops.
Do you think anyone can be artistic?
I believe every single human being is born a creative individual. The way we are nurtured has been to believe the contrary. Most have been conditioned to a life of security and conservation, told that these things will give us peace of mind. The irony and strife is that this juxtaposes what what we know at our very core. We must revel in the uncertainty, milk the spirit of adventure, wake up every day to a different kind of sky, go to sleep every night to a different kind of moon. What drives me every single day is an insatiable curiosity about the better version of myself that’s coming tomorrow.
Read the entire conversation in our J’AIPUR 1 Winter ’18 print edition, available here.
Words by Rupi Sood // Photography by Liv Hoffman