Erasing Borders: Passport to Contemporary Indian Art  Feb-June 2008

Pratima Naithani

Pratima Naithani Pratima Naithani 

Pratima Naithani, born June 18th, 1979 in Washington, D.C., came into this world an heir to three distinct and rich cultures. Her mother being from El Salvador and her father from India, Pratima grew up in the suburban town of Princeton, New Jersey. Sitting astride these three cultures, Pratima is an El Salvadorian, Indian, and American artist. As a child, Pratima became more and more familiar with her Indian heritage. Her mother’s country, El Salvador, was in war for most of her young life, preventing prolonged visits and causing her to develop a deeper relationship with her Indian roots. Many of her works draw upon her summers in India and the inspiration Indian music, film, and history encourage. Pratima consistently makes evident her reverence for her heritage.

As a child, Pratima suffered from a serious eye problem which went undiagnosed until she was thirteen. Before it was corrected, Pratima expressed herself through the medium she could most easily perceive: music. A passion for the piano led Pratima to play by ear without learning how to read music. Her skills accelerated with incredible speed and she quickly became a classical and jazz pianist.

Though she fostered a continued interest in music, Pratima discovered photography by happenstance at boarding school. A girl in her dormitory introduced Pratima to the vantage point offered by the lens and an intense succession of experimentation ensued. She compensated for years of impaired sight, using her camera as an extension of her own unique vision. Her innate abilities and apparent talent led her to the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Pratima graduated from the prestigious School of Visual Arts in New York in 2003 and her artwork was immediately selected for the Visionaire 41/World Issue in 2003 alongside Karl Lagerfeld, Baz Luhrmann, and others. She most recently had a solo exhibition of her work at the Miami Art Basel in December, hosted by Rolls Royce, and has had two solo shows in India, at the Jehangir Art Gallery in Mumbai in April of 2006, and at the Visual Arts Gallery in New Delhi in March of 2006. She was also featured at the Queens Museum of Art in New York as part of the Fatal Love show presented by the Asia Society in 2005. Other accomplishments include her artwork's selection for benefit auctions and multiple group exhibits.

Pratima travels extensively, splitting the majority of her time between New York and Mumbai, but also taking every opportunity to absorb the cultures of many other metropolitan destinations. This unmoored artist is an expert at pop culture trivia and a persistent contributor to charitable organizations.


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