Hi, I am Namita. I work in a variety of mediums, including painting, printmaking, textiles, and found objects, and consider myself a multi-hyphenated, emerging visual artist. I am a South Asian American and was born and brought up in India—yes, the land of riotous color and spicy spices! I am proud to be a part of the San Francisco Bay Area artist community and call this beautiful region my home.
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My art practice is an act of assertion, a marking of presence, every day of my life. It is my way of engaging with the world, people, politics, and this beautiful planet I call home.
I started my life as a creative professional in the world of apparel in India. Much as I loved being a fashion designer, I found the market too confining. The thrill to me was always in the process: in the space of imagination, intellection, possibility, and communication. Several years and a few ill-fittings later, after moving to the United States with my family, I went back to school. Interdisciplinary visual art and cultural studies at the University of Washington in Seattle opened new worlds to me. My time in academia helped me reinvent myself and notably, add printmaking, surface design, art, and art history to my skill and knowledge set. Nearly two years ago, as an empty nester, I gave myself over fully to the artistic process. Or, as Toni Morrison said of her writing practice in her foreword to Beloved, “I convinced myself that it was time for me to live like a grown-up writer: off royalties and writing only’,” I chose to follow the same notion and live like a grown-up artist.
I recently started working with acrylics and mixed media. The medium is versatile—I can scrape, carve, remove and, paint over—forgiving, and of course, perfect if one’s primary language is color. While acrylics are helping bring an explosion of color to my work, my move to California from Washington state is bringing about a distinct change in aesthetic and subject matter; gorgeous California skies—night and day—seem to be showing up in my work more and more.
I often work thematically, or in series, guided by an idea, a happening, or a story. The work doesn’t necessarily turn out as I envision it and often takes a life of its own…the discovery is a source of joy to me and, I hope that through my art, I can share that joy with you. In the words of singer-songwriter Ben Folds, “my job is to see what’s blinking out of the darkness and to sharpen the skill required to put it in a jar for others to see. Those long hours of practice, the boring scales, the wading through melodies that are dead behind the eyes in search of the ones with heartbeats. And all that demoralizing failure along the way. The criticism from within, and from others, and all the unglamorous stuff that goes along with the mastering of a craft. It’s all for that one moment of seeing a jar light up a face.” I certainly hope that my art lights up your heart!