‘Badass Indian Pinups’ Artist Nimisha Bhanot Talks Art, Identity, and Female Empowerment

Written by Elizabeth Jaikaran, Staff Writer

Indo-Canadian artist Nimisha Bhanot reached the height of Internet celebrity [last] week when her painting series, “Badass Indian Pinups,” went viral after being featured on BuzzFeed. In the feature piece, she explained that the idea for the series was conceived in 2012 when she learned of Jyoti Singh’s brutal rape and murder, the aftermath of which involved a great deal of victim blaming and affronts to female humanity. The series focuses on subjects of Indian women who are portrayed as both confident and sexually liberated. In conversation with [Brown Girl Magazine], Bhanot revealed more about what inspires her to paint, as well as her professional trajectory, past and future, as an artist.

Bhanot has had an interest in art since childhood but did not begin to take this affinity seriously until high school. She fondly recalls her high school art teacher, Mrs. Whitby, as someone who was pivotal with respect to the development of her identity as a young artist.

Not Your Mom’s Bahu by Nimisha Bhanot

Her parents have always been supportive of her career as an artist, albeit with some reservations, now settled, regarding the provocative nature of her work.

When Bhanot later started art school after leaving her college science program, she found the pedagogical transition to be one that freed her from the typical tensions of the educational experience she had known before.

Since art school, she feels that, as an artist, she is more relaxed and confident in her style.

Not Your Mom’s Bahu by Nimisha Bhanot

In comparison to traditional South Asian art, which [Bhanot] describes as “very rich in its variety of creative expression” in terms of techniques, motifs, and subject matters, Bhanot places her work among those propelling the contemporary movement of South Asian art—a movement that she characterizes as invested in tradition, as well as in identity and individualism.

Continue reading the full article at BrownGirlMagazine.com.

Editor’s note: A version of this article originally appeared on BrownGirlMagazine.com and an excerpt is republished here with permission. 

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The Commentator

The Commentator is the official student newspaper of New York University School of Law and a seven-time winner of the American Bar Association’s Top Law School Newspaper Award. Founded over 50 years ago in 1966 as a biweekly print publication, The Commentator was re-launched as an online newspaper in 2015.

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