By Jenna Weis
Abstracted art has for centuries allowed artists to break boundaries of the norm and encounter new discoveries in the art-making process as well as provide a more discrete means of spreading ideas. At first glance it seems the only concern is with color, form, and texture, but upon more careful observation and research, sometimes an abstracted work goes beyond its formal qualities. You just have to peel back the layers. Duality, depth, and beauty are just the cusp of what can be experienced when confronted with a piece by artist Puneeta Mittal, who has managed to effortlessly incorporate a fascination of science into her powerfully appealing works of art.
What we see in her art today can be traced back to the spring of 2004 when Mittal came across a high-resolution image of a mouse brain. A scientist would take this image at face value and focus on the subjective –the facts, but Mittal saw a landscape. An organic arrangement of artistic elements that inspired this artist to, “visualize beauty in the repulsive, find knowledge in the unknown, and to observe the unseen to more clearly see our world.”
Mittal is highly influenced by the technique of glaze painting for its textural multi-layered quality, and was a suitable approach to produce works of substance and depth, the same substance and depth she sees in a single microscopic view; how she sees the world.
“While I utilize scientific content as the basic substrate of my works”, she says “as an artist I exercise my freedom to break the confines pertaining to accuracy of data and reality.”
Her signature touch is how the structure and the subjective are undercut by the spontaneity in composition of Mittal’s oil paintings. She fuses the rigidness of modern science with the freedom of expression in her use of both passionate and subtle colors rhythmically composed as a nod to the natural world that also greatly inspires Mittal. This constant juxtaposition of real and metaphorical, science and spiritual, abstract and literal add a sense of complexity and intrigue for the viewer that is also seen in her ceramic pieces. Simplistic shapes of painted multi-layered surfaces which she refers to as “landscape and terrain” acknowledges a quote by Robert Morris; “The simplicity of shape does not necessarily mean simplicity of idea.”
Mittal’s work is on display from October 1st to November 1st at the Islip Art Museum. SPARKBOOMTM will be co-curated the show along with Beth Giacummo, including the closing reception on November 1st, “Things Are Getting Hairy”, featuring a Hair Sculpture Show, food, music, Mythological Costume Contest, and of course, all of the amazing artists on display. Visit islipartmuseum.org for more info!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jenna Weis grew up on Long Island and graduated from Commack High School in 2007. She received her Associates Degree in Visual Arts from Suffolk Community College then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University. This is her second summer working for SPARKBOOMTM, first as Lead Blogger. She hopes the blog will really engage readers to want to see more of the artists work at our SPARKBOOMTM events and help further promote the artists themselves.