A digital archive of Asian/Asian American contemporary art history

Patel, Avani

Other Names: Rasik


"My cultural background has had a profound impact on the forging of my identity as an artist. As a young girl living in India, I fell in love with pattern of dress, exotic colors, the sound of music, the spectacle of both theatre and cinema. They were all fluidly interconnected, effectively symbolizing the rhythm of daily life.

Indian culture is the starting point of my work. The range of Indian films, theatre, music, and performance are all sources of artistic inspiration. Having moved far from my Indian traditional culture, I am exploring the boundaries between eastern and western cultural influences.

Memory inquires into the birth of my visual image--how it is churned in the imagination, inspired by figure forms that are familiar to be transformed in the mind of the artist and be reborn on canvas. Out of imaginations are born the creative faculties which inspire language, poetry, music, dance, and the visual arts. Imaginative forms such as spidery figures, flowers, and delicate snaking marks that inform my work come from experience, from memory, from the unconscious--the powers of association that link the present to the past and the future.

The inspiration of Indian performance and various music selections inspire a language of expression, rhythm, and abstract figures which form pattern on my canvases. The performance play a big part of my life. Dance repeats the movements of the body, and the contour line of the figure becomes an abstraction that reflects in my painting. The gestures of the hands and body move in the same manner as I do my painting. The connection of dance and music creates a visual abstraction in my work. In my painting, I take rhythmic movements to an imaginative place. Shapes made with different colors and brush marks lend physicality to canvas. Different forms and shapes create a story similar to Indian dance, and the painting becomes an independent event."

Avani Patel, Artist Statement, [2002]

Gallery of Selected Works

Artist Uploaded Images