“My approach to my work is very instinctive and I am constantly experimenting.”
I use the Palette knife as my primary tool to paint and my sole medium is oil. My primary subjects are the simple lives of rural India and its people. I photograph my subjects during my travels to my native home- India. My paintings speak of my desire for human connection and my meetings with some wonderful and resilient people. My work is about bright intense colors in heated orange tones, reds and lilacs. I challenge the canvas with blues, greens and purples. My intention with these choices of tones is to grab my audience’s attention.
Many of my subjects are from the alluring desert region of Rajasthan, making my work full of vibrant yellows, reds, greens and bright pinks. Candid images and powerful memories are the essence of my works. I like to think in color and believe in Artist Renoir’s words when he said “Why shouldn’t Art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world!” I construct pictures purely by means of color. Sometimes there is little definition as I tend to get away from academic form.
I have been influenced by Fauvism and Abstract Expressionism and its spontaneous style. Artists like Gauguin, Matisse, Cezanne and William De Kooning have helped shape my technique. I have accepted influences from other work and then tried to master my own style.
The images on my paintings come mostly from my personal experiences and I try to reveal what I have seen and felt. My work is a mix of modernism and abstract expressionism but rooted in Indian tradition. I want to show how I like a thing, or a person or mainly how I remember it.
Malika Garrett was born in Calcutta India, attended Wesleyan College in Macon, GA where she earned her BFA in Visual Arts.
“While traveling and visiting my home in India, I have always looked to photograph people when they are most unguarded. I wait for their essential souls to peek out. That moment and experience remains on my lens and I bring those moments and experiences back home to recreate them on canvas.
I continue to look for the right person or subject throughout my travels. My paintings speak of a desire for human connection. Most everyone I have photographed, I know I will never see again. But we remain connected through my pictures, and I wish to recreate them when I get home as these are faces I will never forget. All these faces and moments represent my chance meetings with these wonderful resilient people. I have tired to recreate my connections to these people through my paintings. My camera is my recorder.”
Malika has collections of her work in India, Singapore, USA, UK and China. She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two beautiful children.