Nikhi Aum

Nikhi Aum

“Roses are red
Violets are blue
Let’s smash patriarchy, me and you.

Saw this saying printed on a t-shirt a couple of years ago, and again on FB. 

Across world cultures, the personified Universal Yin energy in her Shakti element is depicted with a feline beast – to symbolize Her strength and power – be it the ancient Oriental Greek-Roman diety, Cybele, the Mesopotamian Goddess Inana or The Lion Lady Asherah of ancient Israel.”

Shakti by Nikhi Aum
Nikhi Aum, Shakti, 2021. Oil on canvas. 40 x 30 in. Courtesy of the artist. Click image to view detail.

“The classical and most recognizable representation of Goddess Durga with her multiple arms – a metaphor of Her omnipotence also rides on a ferocious tiger. And across world cultures also is an overpowering socially constructed system, which has been in place for eons, one that evokes male dominance over women, which even decides what control she has or doesn’t have over her own body. This is a reality that I and most who identify as women still deal with, with little relevance to our geographic location.

This allegorical work is titled Shakti. The imagery, inspired by the iconography of Mahishasuramardini and collages and cut-outs of Matisse, holding a hammer instead of a trident or spear, the 10 arms and atop the unrestrained catlike predator, dismantling a biased societal structure, are connotations of Her might and supremacy. She is adorned with mystical symbols of the Feminine – a three and a half coiled serpent and on Her forehead, a downward pointing triangle within the red bindi, also a representation Her Infinite nature.” 

Nikhi Aum

Nikhi Aum (she/her) is a self-taught American artist of East-Indian origin, currently living and working in Bombay, India. Born and raised in Bombay, she moved to Seattle, USA, after marriage, where she spent 15 years. “Art became my recourse in a bad marriage, and today it’s the very core of my existence.’’ Nikhi finds her art practice the most authentic form of self-expression since it depicts her emotional and spiritual response to the world as abstract art done in oils and acrylics with an emphasis on vibrant colors and textures. Nikhi’s works have received global recognition – from Governments of the City of Seattle, WA to The Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the U.N. Having exhibited internationally in prestigious shows and Ivy League colleges her works are part of permanent and private collections worldwide.

To purchase this work, contact the artist.

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