Hmm…Unlike Madonna, I can’t really speak authoritatively on this. Despite having been a girl once, a long time ago, I never really got the idea of girlhood. Is it fundamentally different from boyhood?
Which is why I’ve always liked artists who hold out the promise of lifting the veil from the feminine mystique. Like Shubha Vaidya, whose color-drenched pop folk art is the art world equivalent of the wedding sequences of Bollywood movies.
Her paintings show women engaging in the activities that they have traditionally been allowed to do. Sometimes, the women are a little subversive, dressing in men’s clothing, or offering milk for nourishment while sipping cocktails on the sly. The paintings have playful titles like Hot and Sweet and Seeta and Geeta. They promise the voyeur a tantalising glimpse into a forbidden world.
But when you look closer, you see that all the women look exactly the same. Their faces are empty of expression. Maybe they are unknowable, or maybe there’s nothing to see here.