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Riya Bhardwaj is a Visual Artist based in New Delhi, India. Her major focus is Graphic Design and has a keen interest in illustration, painting, photography and mix media. Born and raised in India she completed her schooling from Holy Child Auxilium School, New Delhi and then moved to the States for her graduation. She is currently doing her graduation in General Fine Arts with a concentration in Graphic Design from Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore. Her work focuses on the themes of self love, body positivity and defying the societal norms about gender. As Riya continues to create more work she focuses to find her true identity.

ARTIST STATEMENT

Being a plus size person all my life I felt like I had to look a certain way to fit in. The curves were to look a certain way and hair on my body was to be removed to be more attractive. There comes a freedom with being comfortable in your body and choosing to groom it for yourself and no one else. Through multimedia work I try to highlight the "imperfections" of a body, making them the center of my work and exaggerating them. I use fabric as a medium to recreate the feeling of a bodily structure. My work explores the ideas of gender and gender roles. Being a woman comes with a lot of expectations of the society and if not fulfilled, it's looked down upon. My work tries to break these norms and normalize not being able to fulfill these expectations. Using hair as a material in my work helps me portray that having hair on certain parts of the body should be embraced and not be a basis to determine gender. 

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