Before Nita Patel applies a single brushstroke to her paintings, she takes a moment to sit with the canvas and pay close attention to its energetic qualities. She then marks the surface with an infinity symbol, or lemniscate, in an effort to imbue the surface with infinite possibilities for creation and reception. Aesthetically Patel’s work shares similarities to the mid 20th century North American movement of Abstract Expressionism. She offers a dynamic contemporary revision of this style that draws from the glistening jewel-toned color palette of our post-digital “lossless” world. Her non-differential treatment of the two-dimensional surface moves with spontaneous gestural brushstrokes and rich, optimistic pigments. Yet, to see Patel’s artwork as simply an extension of this earlier art historical canon would be a mistake. Her paintings must be situated within the performative power of the artist’s broader social influence as an entrepreneur, author and success coach who provides public education on self-empowerment, personal growth, and mindfulness.
With an educational background in Psychology, Patel is highly in-tune to the ways in which accessing these deeper levels of inner consciousness allow for raw unadulterated artistic expression. Yet, her approach to painting, and to the holistic identity of the artist-intellectual, is much more centered around presence than it is on absence. Patel encourages her audiences, especially aspiring professional women, to be present by “showing up” to the world in a manner that requires a great deal of mindfulness, active listening, and thoughtful social awareness. While the male artists of the 20th century cannon may have needed to dispose of the ego in order to access a deeper subconscious identity, Patel is advocating for confidence in a twenty-first century moment of highly curated virtual identities and rampant “imposter syndrome.” The destructive chatter of constant comparison, promoted by a ubiquitously loud visual culture, can often act as a detriment to one’s personal success and happiness.
Patel’s recent series asks us to look beyond such personal limitations, which are tethered to the Earth and its atmosphere, by looking towards the celestial bodies of outer space. The collection is not simply about the canvases, but about the space that surrounds them; a space that demands your presence, asks you to slow down, listen to your breath, and quell your inner critic long enough to reflect on the infinite possibilities of space and time. It is about the way in which the artist herself shows up to invite you into her space-with warmth, optimism, and a desire to stimulate your own personal transformation.
In addition to her work as an artist – whose work has been featured in exhibitions throughout the U.S. as well as in London, Paris and Torino, Italy – Nita Patel is also an author, motivational speaker, and success coach. She is the author of “Boss Vibes,” and co-author of a volume of books including “The 13 Steps to Riches,” along with fellow contributors Kevin Harrington of “Shark Tank” and Sharon Lechter of the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” book series. Her combination studio/gallery is located in Richardson, Texas, and it’s also often a gathering spot for gatherings for her fellow artists and entrepreneurs.
Listen to Nita and Mark here: