As a color, pink has often been looked down on as “too girly”. Tomboys scoff at wearing anything close to that shade. “Serious” businesswomen wear suits of black, navy or grey, not pink. Real men don’t wear pink. As a painter, Lily Stockman embraces the power of pink. Pink is the color symbolizing the fight against breast cancer. Pink is power, baby.
Pink also figures prominently in Jaipur aka The Pink City ( the capital of Rajasthan, India ), where Stockman found herself living and painting for the past year. Rather than painting iconic Indian architecture, she instead focused her brush on industrial and agricultural structures such as silos and grain elevators.
Stockman grew up on her family’s farm in rural New Jersey, so perhaps it is no surprise that she chose to focus on the agriculture of India. But the subject matter isn’t the only thing that makes these paintings so interesting. The simplification of the forms, coupled with the unexpected use of such a happy color work in contradiction to our notions of what modern India is like– busy, bustling, dirty, impoverished.
Inspired by the bougainvillea blooming all over Rajahastan, vibrant pinks and fuschias of saris and turbans and the walls of The Pink City itself, Stockman takes these mundane, ordinary structures and empowers them with blasts of color.
Her bubble-like lines, swirly forms and fresh, unaffected forms remind me of the early work of Georgia O’Keeffe, another artist who tapped into the power of pink and made it her own. Quite a legacy of feminine power she left us, but it looks like Lily Stockman is well on her way to leaving one of her own.
Check out Lily’s website for more of her “Agro Pop” series from India, as well as other work. She also writes a wonderful, witty blog full of artistic, culinary and literary goodness at BigBANG Studio.