As a child, Chitra Ganesh began using glitter for costumes and celebrations. As a young artist, she said the material took on “a queer sensibility, as a way to perform, mark, or alter gender expressions.” She reacquainted herself with glitter while working with children as an art educator. The material, she explained, helped her channel the kids’ “elasticity and imagination” in transforming simple materials into meaningful artworks. For nearly two decades, she’s been using glitter throughout vibrant prints, dreamlike paintings, and myth-inspired murals.
Ganesh’s figurative compositions still evidence a youthful approach. Power Girl (2015), for example, plays on superhero tropes to transform a young, non-white woman with a sparkling nose ring into a potent and formidable character—a Powerpuff Girl, but edgier. Ganesh’s oeuvre, as a whole, maintains this cartoonish, feminist edge. Glitter amplifies its otherworldliness and playful exuberance.