Published Aug 30th 2011 in Orlando Arts Magazine
by Denise Bates Enos. Photography By Phelan M. Ebenhack
As a youngster in India, Yatin Patel dreamed of being a photographer when
he grew up. However, he ended up taking a more practical career route,
establishing successful dot-com businesses that ultimately gave him the freedom
to pursue his dream. “At some point in life, you should do what you love,” he says.
“After I sold my last company, I had a chance to dive into what I love. I look around
and see the places I’ve shot, and it makes me happy.”
And he doesn’t have to look far: Patel has created a personal gallery of sorts in his circa-1920s, Mediterranean-style home. His works, which feature hand-inked photographs of India, can be found in nearly every room, from the kitchen to the game room to the master bedroom. The photographs lend a feeling of timelessness and gravity to the décor, which is exactly the ambience Patel wanted to create. “My home is like a gallery of my work,” he explains. “The history of the house coming from the 1920s—my work reflects history, too. I like that connection.” Patel’s College Park residence has its roots in the “Roaring ’20s,” but it underwent a major renovation at the turn of this century. Beasley & Henley Interior Design of Winter Park, along with builders
Glenn Davis and Renee Stein-Charlan, and the architectural firm of Charlan-Brock & Associates, all located in Maitland, collaborated on the renovation. The end result is a 9,000-square-foot, Spanish-influenced mansion that won a Grand Aurora Award for its construction and design. Inside the home, which boasts views of Lake Concord from the back and Lake Adair from the front, majestic columns and graceful arched entryways elegantly frame and define living spaces. The interior features a warm color palette of umber, stone and terra cotta that serves as a contrasting counterpoint to Patel’s cool, complex works. The artist calls his collection—which was photographed in his hometown of Ahmedabad, India—Sutra, an IndoAryan Sanskrit word that means “a thread or line that holds elements together.” This theme is woven throughout his images by the juxtaposition of dark and light, old and new, inanimate and animate. His photographs capture India’s distinctive architecture, street scenes and people in compositions that are made even more dynamic through the production process. Patel works with digital printmaker Jon Cone to print each work on handmade Japanese paper, using a dozen custom-made monochromatic inks in shades of bluish grey, pure grey and black, and strong brown.
The thematic thread of Patel’s works also links them from room to room, lending continuity as guests move from the dining room, where his work Eras hangs, to the kitchen, where Presence can be found on the stone counter. The living room is home to Glimpse, and a copy of the collection’s icon hangs over the fireplace. The word “sutra” for the icon was hand-lettered in Lantsha—a Tibetan script created for writing the Sanskrit language—by former Buddhist monk and artist Tashi Mannox. In the master bedroom, Dimensions, which is printed on metal, rests on a decorative easel; the same work printed on Kozo paper also hangs in the game room “What I look for is civilization that lives in harmony with architecture,” explains Patel. Photographing his native India was a natural choice to launch his artistic career, but he plans on traveling around the world in order to expand his collection. His next trip will be to Cuba, and he hopes to shoot throughout Tibet and Nepal in the future. Wherever he travels, it’s a sure bet that he’ll come back with beautiful new works for his College Park home.
Sutra will be on display this fall at 120 N. Orange Ave. The public is welcome to the opening reception, which will take place September 17 from 6:30 to 10 p.m. From September 18 to 30, the collection space will be available for private functions. To schedule a viewing, contact Patel directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 407.810.6256.
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