Harita Patel is a visual artist and scholar based in Denver, Colorado. Her roots begin in Gujarat, India, and Atlanta, Georgia-- as a daughter of South Asian immigrants.
Harita specializes in painting, printmaking, and mixed-media art. She established Devi Art Studio in 2017.
In addition to her art practice, Harita is a trained political scientist and researcher. She holds graduate degrees from the University of Cincinnati, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her graduate studies focused on South Asian women's labor, research methods, and international development.
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As an artist, I recognize art as a beloved teacher and partner in liberation. My practice is rooted in reflexivity, giving light to themes of transformation, death of the ego, unlearning, false constructs, and spiritual non-dualism. A thread of intention runs throughout my work, a reflection of ‘Devi,’ the Sanskrit word for ‘Goddess’ or the feminine divine-- always focused on the unending process of becoming, undergoing cycles of creation and dissolution.
There is an deliberate sense of syncretism in my artistic practice, which stitches together varied beliefs, methods, and approaches to develop a body of work. As South Asian woman, I believe that the power of marginalized artists and thinkers is to push conversations beyond what is comfortable, including existing mediums and methods. The characteristics of one's work and recognition question the beliefs that underlie conventional practices in art and life. There is power in the 'margins' that encourage us to question what maintains the pharaonic traditions that dominate our realities at a deeply subconscious level.
Artists do the work of decolonizing the mind. It is the imagined purity of traditions in art and thought that limit our understanding what it means to be comfortably ‘in-between’ concepts, identities, and cultures. By interrogating historical conventions that we hold so dear-- we reorient our minds toward new ways of existence and expression.
I believe artistic action is an exercise of surrendering oneself to the unknown, and with each free fall-- I learn more about myself. I use color to inspire and evoke emotion in what I create, but my first marks of color are always rooted in instinct. What follows from this is an intentional visual dialogue between myself and my pallet. This improvisational process stimulates critical thinking, drawing out my ideas and underlying presuppositions. I frequently use landscapes as a vehicle for expressing color, moving in and out of representation and abstraction.
I use a variety of materials and processes, but in each piece my methodology is consistent-- I embrace action without qualifying attachments to the outcome and accept the beauty that follows from those moments of freedom. Each project documents a journey toward self-empathy, understanding purpose, and identifying that which is real and unreal.
Each project consists of multiple works, in a variety of media, grouped around specific narratives and meanings. During my research and production, new projects and methods of interest arise, which guide the next body of work.
We are mirrors of our art. Often what we believe are our flaws, may be what others find beautiful about us. When we are faced with the imperfection that is human-perfection, what can we do to help us cultivate compassion for our own existence?