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Check out Rishi Deka’s Artwork

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rishi Deka.

Rishi, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My artistic story began in April 2015 at the University of Utah. I went to the U to pursue my PhD in epidemiology. I was simply looking to make friends outside of grad school, and I ended up being hired as a staff photojournalist for the student newspaper, the Daily Utah Chronicle. I worked at the Chrony from 2015-2017. I covered news, sports, and arts at the U and in the Salt Lake City area. I even ended up winning a state press association award for my photo story on African-American civil rights related to the police shooting of Abdi Mohamed in February 2016.

After I graduated with my PhD in August 2017, I moved back to San Diego, California, where I am originally from. I started a Postdoc in Radiation Oncology at UCSD, where I am involved with research and teaching in cancer epidemiology. I also began freelancing for a few media outlets in the San Diego area, most notably Zuma Press Wire Service. I cover news, sports, and arts for Zuma Press. Our clients include Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, Time, People, ESPN, US Weekly, and National Geographic. I have also branched out into other areas of photography besides photojournalism including landscapes, glamour, portraits, weddings, and stock.

We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I create photography for a number of media outlets in San Diego, saliently Zuma Press Wire Service. Most of my work covers news, sports, and arts in the San Diego area. I create this work because I am very passionate about it; I truly feel that I am making a difference in the world through my photography and the events that I cover through my lens. Other types of artwork that I have begun to recently create include the photographing of landscapes, glamour, portraits, wedding, and stock.

Do current events, local or global, affect your work and what you are focused on?
I feel that the role of an artist is to make people aware, to make people feel emotions, to make people reflect, to make people react, and to make people feel inspired.

As someone with a background in photojournalism, local, national, and international events are constantly impacting my work in that area. I especially understand the impact of this given the award I received for my photo story on African-American civil rights. All pertinent events and issues need to be covered and seen by the public – and there is no better medium for that than visual journalism.

For example, Mobike, a public bicycle sharing system, was implemented throughout San Diego in February 2018. I noticed that a lot of customers have been recklessly disposing of Mobikes and I wanted to highlight this issue. Thus, I created a monochrome black and white image of a Mobike carelessly disposed except for the bright orange of the bike. The purpose of this color and texture was to visually highlight and make acutely aware the issue of bikers carelessly leaving Mobikes where they are not supposed to.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All images taken by Rishi Deka!

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