Clinton Township doctors share a passion for art
Published September 26, 2012
CLINTON TOWNSHIP — You could say Doctors Vijay and Deepa Dixit have a lot in common.
Both share an office building on Garfield Road in Clinton Township, though they practice vastly different branches of medicine. Vijay is a plastic surgeon, while his wife, Deepa, is an allergy and asthma specialist.
But anyone who’s visited their office has probably gotten a sense of their other commonality: Both, in their off-time, are artists.
The walls of the doctor’s office display many of Deepa’s acrylic, water and oil paintings. Vijay’s sculptures, carved from chunks of raw Michigan materials, such as copper and selenite, tree trunks and glass sheets, adorn the waiting room.
As much as they’re alike, their art comes from very different muses. For Vijay, it’s clear that his realistic depictions of human faces and torsos are very much connected to his career as a plastic surgeon. When one patient asked where he learned to sculpt, he responded, “In the operating room.”
“That’s where you study the faces and body. You have to have an understanding of different types of forms,” he said. “If you want to make a face, you have to study in-depth what you want to depict.”
Deepa, on the other hand, will tell you that the inspiration for her massive, colorful paintings is often drawn from growing up in India.
Just take one look at her three-painting series on Indian girls threading decorative flowers and children playing. They’re scenes taken from her childhood. While the Indian state where she grew up was desert, the people were colorful, she said. For her, it’s about the thrill she gets from mixing colors.
“I grew up seeing colors, so that’s what my paintings usually reflect,” she said.
One thing they can both concur on is that the artwork isn’t for sale.
“The cheapest form of art I do is plastic surgery,” Vijay said, noting that while a face-lift takes only three hours, his sculptures can take anywhere between 20 and 200 hours. “You obviously get a certain amount of satisfaction when you are able to realize your concept.”
And, for both doctors, art is a form of stress relief. “Instead of going on a golf course, I go and make things,” Vijay added.
In 1991, after he finished his intensive plastic surgery boards, he knew he needed to search out his next challenge.
“To me, these are a challenging thing to do because I’m working with totally different materials, or different project, and the pleasure is in solving the complicated issues about working with different materials — stone or copper, or glass or wood. I’ve worked on all of them over the years.”
Deepa has been painting since her middle school days. It’s not surprising, given that she hails from a family steeped in creativity. Each of her eight other brothers and sisters are putting their creativity to use in one way or another: one is a documentary film maker, another is a Bollywood singer and several are making waves in the world of TV commercials.
“Art and creativity is in everyone. It is reflected in different forms,” she said. “To be a complete person, I think creativity adds to your whole being.”