Harita Patel is a visual artist based in Aurora, Colorado. Born in 1985, her cultural roots begin in Atlanta, Georgia and Gujarat, India,—embodying a unique journey as the daughter of South Asian immigrants. Harita works with a variety of materials and processes, ranging from painting, printmaking, thread art, and mixed media. In 2017, Harita established Devi Art Studio as a formal space to support her artistic practice. Developing her own lexicon of images and themes, her work continues to encourage viewers to embrace transformation, death of the ego, and self-reflection. Her creations serve as mirrors, reflecting the complex interplay between identity and growth and the realities we project through our hopes and fears.
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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My artistic practice is grounded in reflexivity, a term borrowed from the social sciences to describe my creative approach. To be reflexive is to examine the circular relationship between my beliefs, judgments, and practices and the artwork I create. I strive to consider how my perception, reactions, and motivations have influenced myself, and the work I create. For me, Art is a beloved teacher and partner in liberation.
My studio is named Devi Art Studio as a reminder of the purpose of my practice. In Sanskrit the word for ‘Goddess’ or the feminine divine is ‘Devi’— and for several years, I have worked with iconography of the mystical lotus and waterlily affiliated with the Goddess, to communicate the beauty of transformation, embracing change, and self-actualization.
The lotus is a representation of the unending process of becoming, and a consciousness that is always undergoing cycles of creation and dissolution. The visual image of the lotus and waterlily allow me to express my artistic development over time, layering meaning and subtle markers of growth. When experimenting with new mediums or ideas, I frequently draw on symbols from my artistic lexicon, as a reminder that the goal is the process and not necessarily the outcome itself.
I work across multiple materials and grounds, applying familiar tools in unfamiliar settings because they serve as a vehicle for learning, adaptation, and experimentation. 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, but in each piece my aim 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 recognizing the forces that drive our creativity.
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?