Pooja Pittie is a visual artist who lives and works in Chicago. Born and raised in Mumbai, India, she trained as an Accountant and moved to the U.S. in 1999.
An MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business led her to a career in Finance and Entrepreneurship. In 2016, she decided to pursue her lifelong passion for art and made a career change to focus on painting full-time. Pooja has an incurable and progressive form of muscular dystrophy and her studio practice is a struggle for balance between a slow-moving body and an active mind.
Pooja Pittie’s practice as a painter is both rock solid and ever-shifting. Her paintings are populated by a swirling cast of characters that inhabit a colorful, secret world of mind-bending activity. While the artist’s disability restricts her physical movement there seems to be an inverse product of unbounded, inner vibrancy which radiates from her brush onto the canvas. She lives a rich life of the mind which any visit to her studio confirms at a glance of her well-stocked bookshelf, and the poignant titles of her paintings seal the deal on each finished work. Pooja might labor, layer by layer, dot by dot, over a canvas one day and then resolve a new painting in a two-hour burst of brushy energy the next. The muse comes and she follows it down the rabbit hole, wherever it may lead.
Pooja has completed the HATCH residency at Chicago Artists' Coalition and the Center Program at Hyde Park Art Center. She participated in the Lighthouses on the Mag Mile project in 2018 and has been awarded a contract by the Illinois Capital Development Board's Art-in-Architecture Program to create multiple pieces of public art for Triton College in River Grove, IL.
She was recently nominated for the 3Arts Visual Art Award and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant. Her upcoming solo exhibition is scheduled at the gallery in September 2021.
Watch a Vimeo (https://vimeo.com/528105070) about Pooja and the process behind her work
Watch a Vimeo of Pooja in conversation with author Megha Ralpati at her 2021 solo exhibition (https://vimeo.com/643105604)