As a woman and a mother to a daughter, Girija Hariharan has always been focused on the role of women in this world, and firmly outspoken on gender discrimination.
A proud feminist, and since her art is a true representation of herself, she often portrays women in her artworks, that not only intrigue and excite the viewer, but also take them on a journey of self-exploration.
Technically, she is an artist who loves contrast. She loves the interplay of black and white and bright colors. Contextually also, the juxtaposition of black and white in a colored background signifies the owning of space, by a woman, in an arena she doesn’t belong.
She would like the color element of her paintings to convey the story as well, as much as possible. Beyond visual appeal, she has built layers and meanings and depth into the textures and body language and gazes of her subjects.
A couple of years ago, when she was looking at some vintage photographs, she was deeply intrigued by a Sri Lankan girl, who stood in a pose that suggested her strength, despite the odds she faced.
It got her thinking about that era of taxing women for covering their breasts, and patriarchal structures of marriage and widowing, etc. She wanted to show the power behind their poses, body language, and re-interpret them in a contemporary context in terms of color, so that the current woman can identify herself with the image and derive her strength. The Sri Lankan girl was her very first vintage lady, and it slowly evolved into more women, in calm but assertive poses with vehicles, flowers etc.
Artist: Girija Hariharan
Location: Bangalore, India
Purchase: Through Instagram handle @2flatbrush