Arts·Video

Meet the artist turning paintings of Indian women into empowered pin-ups

Artist Nimisha Bhanot has thought a lot about the way South Asian women are represented in art, and she decided to do something about it — through painting.

Nimisha Bhanot has thought a lot about the way South Asian women are represented in art

Artist Nimisha Bhanot has thought a lot about the way South Asian women are represented in art, and she decided to do something about it - through painting. 4:08

Indian women wearing revealing clothing, smoking cigars, sporting tattoos and looking at you defiantly while they do it: these are the protagonists of artist Nimisha Bhanot's paintings.

It's not the traditional way Indian women are represented in art, and that's exactly why Indian-Canadian Bhanot has taken on the significant challenge of changing the way her characters dress and behave. It took a while for her parents to understand and accept what she's doing in her art practice, but over time Bhanot has managed to open up (and begin to change) the conversation about what it means to be a South Asian woman.

In this video directed by Tahiat Mahboob, Bhanot opens up about the influences that drove her to capture these rebels in paintings that are gaining her recognition in the art world and beyond.

Watch Exhibitionists Sundays at 4:30pm (5 NT) on CBC.

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