Daily, we are bombarded with all sorts of information: advertising, texts, slogans, signs, pictures which everyday add new layers to our subconscious. These images are digested by our subjectivity to then be regurgitated in various ways: dreams are a good example of how this tightly packaged information is released. All the visuals we see are processed with what we’ve seen before — either personally or as a part of a larger group consciousness.
As a graphic designer, I would imagine Harsh Patel to be specifically sensitive to his typographic and pictorial surroundings (in fact, he did the branding for Cleopatra’s). In his solo exhibition “New Typography”, Harsh not only relays consumed information from the outside world, but he reiterates information from his own design projects.
The show is composed of eight panels, placed onto a wooden platform on the floor of the gallery. Walking around this structure, I was imagining a strip of film, a sampling from the internal life of the artist. But how does one bring something so external such as commercial graphic projects, and turn it into a representation of one’s own multi-layered subjectivity? In other words, how do we separate art from the world we live in? This question came up in the 1950’s in regards to Jackson Pollock, who moved the canvas from the wall onto the floor — the canvas became a horizontal receptacle for the artist’s interior life.
In “New Typography”, Harsh takes the ads, banners, fonts, slogans, posters, book designs, design treatments, and representations of the urban environment which are usually viewed vertically, and repositions them horizontally onto the ground; these panels leave the world of commerce and become receptacles of the artist’s overly saturated subconscious.