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aRRtworks // Rajiv Raman - Artist - Boston, MA

Recent Work

Waiting Waiting Waiting

"Waiting" - wood, metal, stone - 14"x27"x14"

Artist's comments

I think everyone can relate to the feeling of being alone with ones thoughts. For me, the trigger for this piece was my son being born. I remember sitting in the hallway before they let me in. Concern, anxiety, excitement, joy. There were so many thoughts and emotions swirling around my head. Then when I first saw him, all of my worries melted away. I'll never forget that feeling of peaceful euphoria.

Home Home Home

"Home" - wood, metal - 7"x75"x7"

Artist's comments

I am one of those people that needs a home, a place to lay my roots. I'm not the type of person who can hop from apartment to apartment, though I have had to do that (begrudgingly) quite a few times! I spent a lot of time searching for a home. It's a nice home: white picket fence, wraparound porch - a prototypical house. A woman said to me while gazing at this piece, "That reminds me of a Monopoly house." Well, I guess that's a prototypical house too! What does home mean to me? It's a sanctuary from all of the stresses piling up beneath oneself. The tall geometric tower reminds me of the rock formations I saw on a recent trip through the Arizona desert. The first thing I thought when I saw them was, I wonder whether anyone's ever lived up there? Because I have a home studio, I spend quite a bit of time at home working on my art. A sense of place gives me a sense of purpose. And with a little one on the way, this will be a place for (him or her) to lay some roots too.

Lost & Found ... in Thought Lost & Found ... in Thought Lost & Found ... in Thought Lost & Found ... in Thought

"Lost & Found ... in Thought" - wood, metal, concrete - 12"x49"x12"

Artist's comments

"I live in two worlds. I work in technology and I'm an artist. It's always been that way - I've had an interest in art, math, and science for as long as I can remember. It's sometimes difficult to seesaw between the left and right, and sometimes I get lost. But sometimes what appears to be blind chaos to the outside world is just that, an appearance - a mask. On the inside, when I've really achieved a balance and rhythm between the two, I know I'm in my comfort zone. And that's when chaos delivers clarity."

Repetitive Stress Repetitive Stress Repetitive Stress

"Repetitive Stress" - wood, metal, concrete - 8"x36.5"x8"

Artist's comments

"Continuing on the theme of the vulnerable body, I explore a condition that unfortunately I've had to deal with: RSI - repetitive stress injury. While much of my recent work focuses on the spike element as a symbol of injury, the focus of this piece is the absence of the spike and what it left behind: a hole - a hole that's been worn away. That's what RSI feels like, a dull pins-and-needles feeling as your nerves wear away. In many previous pieces, I left remnants of the workings of hand-tools, while in "Imprint" I explored a more refined texture. I decided to combine both in this piece to symbolize the breakdown of nerves beyond the injury - i.e. in your hands. I loved working in cedar. Its knots and grain remind me of muscle fiber."

Labor Day Labor Day Labor Day

"Labor Day" - wood - 16"x35"x20"

Artist's comments

"This piece is loosely related to "Fatigue". Both deal with the theme of burnout. This piece applies that theme to the plight of the modern-day office worker. When Labor Day (the holiday) was first established, Americans toiled away in factories. Here in New England, we see remnants of that era in our run-down mill towns. Now we live in a global service-oriented economy. Instead of assembly lines, we live in cubicles and sit in chairs, something seemingly innocuous, but a symbol of the daily grind for countless office drones. One of the things I like most about this piece is that it transforms as you approach it. From afar as you face it, you may not even notice the shadowy spikes and just see a chair. Step closer and the grain of the seat and back becomes clearer, as do the dark stains literally bleeding through it. Once you're close enough to walk around it and kneel down, the spikes are front-and-center. They aren't razor sharp, but their rough splintery forms invite you closer, but repel you as well."

Imprint Imprint Imprint

"Imprint" - wood - 18"x43"x12" - SOLD

Artist's comments

"This piece is the second I've done on the theme of motherhood (the first being "Madre"). Many of my sculptures are very gestural, with clear evidence of a handworked surface. For this piece, I wanted to explore a new direction: smooth, refined geometric shapes. The form is obviously suggestive of a mother and child. One can't escape the Christian references, but that is not what I was intending here. This piece is more about the universality of motherhood, as implied by the blank faces of the mother and child. I wanted to juxtapose contrasting ideas in my selection of materials and motifs: the heaviness of the oak against the airiness of the butterflies; the heaviness of motherhood against the anxious joy many feel (literally "butterflies"). I chose the title "Imprint" because my use of oak (a very grainy wood) stained uniformly, was meant to imply that the figures were literally cut from the same grain, and drive home the idea of an unbreakable bond. Incidentally in genetics, a mother passing traits down to her child is called "maternal imprinting"."

Fatigue Fatigue Fatigue

"Fatigue" - wood, glass - 24"x34"x4.5"

Artist's comments

"How many times have you caught yourself saying, "Can't do that, I'm not in my 20s anymore." I made this piece as a reflection of that sentiment, but also as a reminder to myself to stop saying it. Art is an important part of my life and even if I sometimes feel "fatigued" in my 30s, that's no reason to quit. Art may be my passion, but everyone has their own that they need to embrace despite the onset of fatigue. I chose to use shards of glass in cool colors to reflect the very unique character of fatigue; it sometimes reveals itself as a sharp pain, like a pinched nerve, but overall it's a very cool and numbing pain."

Previous Work

Suddenly the boom was over, and all that was left were Suddenly the boom was over, and all that was left were Suddenly the boom was over, and all that was left were

"Suddenly the boom was over, and all that was left were" - business cards, thread - 12"x42"x8"

Artist's comments

"I made my "Agency pants" soon after quitting my job at an Internet services firm. I spent 2 1/2 years there and watched it grow way too fast through the Internet heyday, then take a complete nose-dive. After I left the company, there were so many emotions rolling around inside, from anger to jealousy to sadness. It's hard to watch something you've devoted so much time to fall apart, and take many of your friends with it. I wanted to express that in sculpture and I kept coming back to "pants". It just made sense: Losing your job is like losing your pants, it leaves you naked. And the business cards complete the piece. Business cards are a status symbol; people love flashing them around. They're something that people hide behind clothes. On a lighter note, it's just hilarious to think about a white collar worker forced to clothe himself in business cards to get by. I also thought pants were a nice metaphor for the Internet world because, as I sat there in front of my sewing machine, I thought, "So this is what a sweatshop feels like"...I laughed to myself cuz Internet firms are sometimes called "webshops"."

Madre Madre Madre

"Madre" - wood, metal - 7.5"x37"x6.5" - NFS

Artist's comments

""Madre", a.k.a "the Mother piece", is pretty dear to me. It's about standing tall under pressure, even when it seems like the world tries to scar you. I think there's a bit of this spirit in all women, including my own mother. As a man, it's something I can't ever fully understand, but can still appreciate nonetheless."

Precious Objects Precious Objects Precious Objects

"Precious Objects" - wood, leaves - 24"x60"x12" - NFS

Artist's comments

""Precious Objects" is a monument to nature. Three leaves: a maple, a beech, and an oak...the three trees that loomed around our house growing up. Billions of leaves fall and decay everyday; each is a work of art worthy of a I decided to give one to these three. Like little jewels, I've protected them in these personalized boxes. They've actually done a pretty good job preserving them over the years."

Release Release Release

"Release" - plaster, metal - 18"x18"x10"

Artist's comments

""Release" is a pretty personal piece. It's about changing your perspective a little, not letting things fester inside you...getting things off your chest. At one point in my life, I thought, "Y'know what? This is gonna drive me crazy. I need to stop dwelling on things and start living life." And what do ya know, that's just what I did."

By residents, usually, Bawlmer By residents, usually, Bawlmer By residents, usually, Bawlmer

"By residents, usually, Bawlmer" - ceramics, paper, wood - 34"x13"x2"

Artist's comments

"This piece is dedicated to my hometown. One day, I was looking something up in the dictionary and came across the entry for "Baltimore". I noticed that in the pronunciation key, there was a special note: "by residents usu 'bol-tE-"mor or 'bol-m[upside-down e]r." After a little research...some tedious research, I figured out that it was the only word in the entire dictionary with such a designation. I love listening to accents; they act like a bond between people. This piece is all about that bond and its origins. The clay blocks remind me of the alphabet blocks we used to play with as toddlers, when we were first learning how to talk. The map of the Chesapeake behind it reminds me of an old explorer's map from the 17th century, when the seeds were planted that started this rich fabric of accents we have today. And the grit and grime? That's just pure Bawlmer."

Temptation Temptation Temptation

"Temptation" - glass, wood - 12"x12"x12"

Artist's comments

"This piece has more of a feeling behind it than a story. I wanted to take a beautiful feminine object like a wine glass and turn it into something dangerous, yet still beautiful. The light in the base creates such a hypnotic effect that people are immediately drawn to it when it's on display. I actually had to put up a sign because too many people were tempted to touch it."

A device for instilling faith A device for instilling faith A device for instilling faith

"A device for instilling faith" - wood, rope - 4"x6"x9" - SOLD

Artist's comments

"This is a tongue-in-cheek piece about forced devoutness. I thought to myself how crazy it would be for someone to create a device for forcing people to pray. The box, sized for my own hands, is hollow and opens on hinges when unbound."

Tuesday morning, rush hour, 9/11 Tuesday morning, rush hour, 9/11 Tuesday morning, rush hour, 9/11

"Tuesday morning, rush hour, 9/11" - wood, metal, concrete - 24"x48"x12"

Artist's comments

"This was the centerpiece for my show "Layers" in Winston-Salem, NC. What can I say? Those events took a piece out of me too. The dark scarred wood is suggestive of unimaginable pain and suffering. A subtlety about this piece that I did not want to go unnoticed was the physique of the figure. I did not want to create a "David" in this piece, I wanted to create an ordinary middle-aged man, representative of the everyday people, no different than you and I, that died that day."

Fear Fear Fear

"Fear" - wood, metal, concrete - 30"x38"x30"

Artist's comments

"I have to thank my 9th grade geometry teacher, because this piece was an exercise in that subject! The piece is about being trapped by fears, both common and clinical phobias. The figure is trapped in a tessellated cage of sharp "fears". He is unscathed - and that's the danger of fears, they prevent one from trying to escape them. The "fears" are sharpened on both ends; they keep people in and they keep people out."

Maps // Books // T-Shirts // Etc.



An artistic map of life's moments - order yours here.
A number of limited editions are also available.

The Last Stop: A Story of Transit Equality

"The Last Stop: A Story of Transit Equality"

"The Last Stop" is an opportunity for parents to talk about prejudice with their young readers through the lens of transit equality and equity. This charming story is illustrated using the simple iconography of subway maps. Join the people of Colorville as they fight to get their own transit line and connect with their neighbors. Enjoy the ride!
Order yours today!

I Don't Want To Be The Mom Today!

"I Don't Want To Be The Mom Today!"

A heartwarming story about a mother and her little girl who decide to switch places for the day. This picture book is a light-hearted life lesson that your little "rebel" will enjoy time and time again!
Order yours today!

People's Republic of Somerville

"People's Republic of Somerville"

For all my Somerville comrades: A modern spin on our city's official motto: "Municipal Freedom Gives National Strength!"
Order yours today!

Somerville Etsy Artists

Cambridge Etsy Artists

"Somerville/Cambridge Etsy Artists"

A directory of Etsy artists from Somerville & Cambridge. Shop local and...
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Cartography and Web & Software Development, Serving Boston & Beyond
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Rajiv Raman
Art has been a large part of Rajiv Raman's life since an early age. As a child and throughout his teenage years in Baltimore, Rajiv was classically trained in graphite and pastel. After enrolling at Brown University, his interest in two-dimensional mediums continued to flourish through charcoal and acrylic. Since graduating with a degree in Visual Arts, Rajiv has embraced two mediums: sculpture and the digital arts.

While sculpting, he enjoys working in wood, plaster, metal, and mixed media. In his choice of materials and subject matter, Rajiv tries to tell a story (about his life or others') that is universal. His sculptures have been described as gestural, a testament to his foundation in two-dimensional mediums like pastel and charcoal (when his work was described as "sculptural").

In the digital arts, his work also tells a story, this time through subway-map inspired designs. Perhaps they're a bit too familiar to the urban dweller, but Rajiv's always been fascinated by them. The way that they distill complexity down to a simple bold geometry is mesmerizing. The story told through each map isn't immediately obvious at first glance. There's an element of surprise in his pieces that captivates viewers when they realize they aren't just looking at a subway map.

Previous show venues include Inman Square Gallery in Cambridge, MA; Nave Gallery in Somerville, MA; Spencer Gallery in Chelsea, MA; Medicine Wheel's Spoke Gallery in Boston, MA; LACDA (LA Center for Digital Art); CCAE Gallery in Cambridge, MA; SCATV Gallery in Somerville, MA; Emmanuel College's "Gallery 5" in Boston, MA; Stone and Plank Gallery in Smithfield, RI; and Harmony Studios in Winston-Salem, NC. Rajiv has also been featured in the Boston Metro, Somerville News, and He lives in Somerville, MA with his wife Anupama and their son and daughter.

Recent Newsletter Postings

Commissions Accepted

Reach Rajiv at:
14 Clyde St.
Somerville, MA 02145

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