Arnie Guha is the multidisciplinary creative behind Acid4Yuppies, which focuses on experiential art works – from illuminated light boxes and electric murals, to psychedelics-inspired scarves and fine art prints. Guha’s ‘trippy’ works are complemented by an extensive body of minimalistic photography and portraiture. From vivid colours to subdued hues, Guha’s practice explores both realms of the visual experience from extreme intensity to soft suggestion.
Born and raised in Jadavpur, a fabled neighbourhood at the southern edge of Calcutta, India, Arnie spent much of his childhood in neighbourhood printing shops, and at the local portrait photographer’s studio, where he became fascinated by the intersection of painting and photography as he watched the photo-artist manually touch up pictures with brush and pencil.
Educated at Jadavpur University, Calcutta, and then at Cambridge University, UK, Arnie fell in love with medieval manuscripts – the unapologetic vibrance of the colours and the power of the image to communicate what remains ineffable in the verbal realm. This would later inform his doctoral work on secondary orality and information visualization in digital, hypertextual environments at the University of British Columbia.
Since then, Arnie has built a leading Canadian Experience Design practice at Phase 5 (www.phase-5.com), where his clients include the London Stock Exchange Group, Thomson Reuters, media companies and several of Canada’s largest banks. When COVID-19 put a halt to travelling, Arnie found himself meditating in his garden in downtown Toronto. Acid4Yuppies is his collection of transformative art, born out of meditation during the forced stillness of COVID-19.
Arnie splits his time between Toronto and Montreal, and enjoys collaborating with DJs and other visual artists to create experiential, accessible art. His next solo exhibit will focus on lightboxes and electric murals, and will be held at the John B. Aird Gallery in Toronto, in the summer of 2022.