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Hope in Adversity Mobile Interview,  INTERVIEWS,  News

Mobile Photography and Art – ‘Hope in Adversity’ Interview with Cintia Malhotra from New Jersey, United States

Today, we are publishing our twenty first interview in our new series, Hope in Adversity. One that’s based around art, artists and isolation during the midst of Covid-19. This interview is with award winning mobile photographer with Cintia Malhotra from New Jersey, United States. Malhotra is a visual artist and educator who has been involved in the arts community since childhood. Despite having visual impairment, she chose to focus on the visual arts. Much of her photography involves a combination of abstraction and personification to create a narrative for the viewer. In addition to this, she explains “I often like to explore social issues and reconnect with the human experience by capturing moments of daily life. Sometimes I prefer to draw or paint as a means of stepping away from technology. This respite is important for my vision to be refreshed and focus on a new project“. You will see as you read and view this interview, that Malhotra is currently embracing this sentiment in totality. Enjoy!

To read others in this series of interviews with Jill Lian, Vicki Cooper, Gerry Coe, Sarah Bichachi, Sukru Mehmet Omur, Phyllis Shenny, Alisa Smith Williams, Joy Barry, Fleur Schim, Fiona Christian, Peter Wilkin, Ile Mont, Lynette Sheppard, M. Cecilia Sao Thiago, Rob Pearson-Wright, Catherine Caddigan and Susan Latty, please follow this link

If you are social distancing or social isolating at this time, are you using any additional time you may have to create mobile digital art or photography?

I have been physically isolated for almost 5 weeks now and I’ve been working from home.  The first few weeks were very stressful because I was dealing with an eye injury in my dominant eye, which limited my time on screen. It took  about 3 weeks to fully recover. Since then I have been making it a point to take photos and/or videos focusing on what I see daily. Not just for myself but for others because I think art is great therapy in stressful times – whether it’s as a maker or observer.

‘The Things I See’ ©Cintia Malhotra

If so, have you noticed the style of art that you’re creating changing from what you would normally create?

My initial reaction to this question was no — not in style per se — but the more I thought about it, I realized there was a change because of one important element – time, time, time. This has become extremely precious to me in the recent years. I guess one benefit of getting older is appreciating the time one has left ahead of them.  I am an escapist by nature and the extra time allows me to get lost in a daydream or story that fills my head a while longer.

mobile photography
‘Thoughts On Mortality And Time – “The gods envy us. They envy us because we’re mortal, because any moment may be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we’re doomed. You will never be lovelier than you are now. We will never be here again.” – Homer, The Iliad
©Cintia Malhotra

If yes, to the above, can you explain how your art has changed?

Since I am working from home for now, my daily routine is less structured.  In the silence and (blissful) solitude I can delve deeper into my imagination.  Since my eye has healed, I can concentrate more on creating on a daily basis.  The style of my work has not changed much but the additional time has helped me give more attention to details and I have been more productive — the past week and a half, anyway. Ha!  Also, am able to experiment/play with different apps and techniques – which I am really enjoying.  

mobile photography
‘Renewal’ ©Cintia Malhotra

Have you found additional inspiration to create at this time?

I love reading about and watching documentaries about the lives of artists from the early to mid-20th Century. I am reacquainting myself with the books on my shelves and watching the YouTube videos I’ve only had the time to bookmark!

mobile photography
‘Needed a Good Book’ ©Cintia Malhotra

Is creating mobile digital art/photography, helping you at this time specially, how and why?

Definitely.  I am primarily a photographer and digital art/enhancements are at times necessary for the work to fully express my feelings.  The process of creating is very therapeutic. Though I am maker by nature, at this time the process has been essential in coping with the situation.  I worry for my mother who lives in the town next to me and am frustrated by press conferences that offer little comfort — oh, my, did I say that? 😉

mobile photography
‘How I Feel Listening to the News’ ©Cintia Malhotra

Do you feel that sharing mobile art/photography at this time is spreading a unity of peace?

Absolutely. I think most of us are appreciative, or have a new appreciation, for the different (creative) communities we take part in.  Sharing our points of view or experiences in dealing with this pandemic has been unifying for sure.  Sharing work with others outside the community pulls them into our frame and they don’t feel as alone in this.  I find that is the case with the responses received about the videos I’ve posted. The content or meaning to me has not changed, but it’s meaning to others has.  Maybe, right now, they need to escape for a while too.

‘One of Many Places’ ©Cintia Malhotra


‘I need to zoom in and out to see the light… sometimes it’s blurry’ ©Cintia Malhotra


Anything else you would personally like to add, please add it here.

I do believe society will change because of this experience – more than just dropping the handshake – and we will be standing at a multi-pronged fork in the road.  There are opportunities to fix what was broken.  My hope is that we chose to put the best interests of our families, communities, and the other beings we share this planet with at the foreground.  Imagine what that might be like?

Also, thank you Joanne for all the work you do to advocate for and cultivate a supportive community for mobile artists and photographers.  

mobile photography
‘A Time to Make Improvements’ ©Cintia Malhotra

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Joanne Carter, creator of the world’s most popular mobile photography and art website—— TheAppWhisperer platform has been a pivotal cyberspace for mobile artists of all abilities to learn about, to explore, to celebrate and to share mobile artworks. Joanne’s compassion, inclusivity, and humility are hallmarks in all that she does, and is particularly evident in the platform she has built. In her words, “We all have the potential to remove ourselves from the centre of any circle and to expand a sphere of compassion outward; to include everyone interested in mobile art, ensuring every artist is within reach”, she has said. Promotion of mobile artists and the art form as a primary medium in today’s art world, has become her life’s focus. She has presented lectures bolstering mobile artists and their art from as far away as the Museum of Art in Seoul, South Korea to closer to her home in the UK at Focus on Imaging. Her experience as a jurist for mobile art competitions includes: Portugal, Canada, US, S Korea, UK and Italy. And her travels pioneering the breadth of mobile art includes key events in: Frankfurt, Naples, Amalfi Coast, Paris, Brazil, London. Pioneering the world’s first mobile art online gallery - has extended her reach even further, shipping from London, UK to clients in the US, Europe and The Far East to a global group of collectors looking for exclusive art to hang in their homes and offices. The online gallery specialises in prints for discerning collectors of unique, previously unseen signed limited edition art. Her journey towards becoming The App Whisperer, includes (but is not limited to) working for a paparazzi photo agency for several years and as a deputy editor for a photo print magazine. Her own freelance photographic journalistic work is also widely acclaimed. She has been published extensively both within the UK and the US in national and international titles. These include The Times, The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Popular Photography & Imaging, dpreview, NikonPro, Which? and more recently with the BBC as a Contributor, Columnist at Vogue Italia and Contributing Editor at LensCulture. Her professional photography has also been widely exhibited throughout Europe, including Italy, Portugal and the UK. She is currently writing several books, all related to mobile art and is always open to requests for new commissions for either writing or photography projects or a combination of both. Please contact her at: [email protected]