For painter Vandana Nittoor, art is a means of defining her place in the world while discovering the world within her.
Growing up in Bangalore, India, her childhood and early adult years were spent in a culturally rich setting with demanding traditions, and a strong emphasis was placed on conformity. She chose to re-examine these values and grow beyond their constraints in order to provide voice and expression to the artist within. It was through the process of self-discovery, enabled by mindfulness-based meditation, that such evolution has been possible. Just like a meditation session, Nittoor’s oil paintings are primarily done in one sitting.
Nittoor seeks to capture the spirituality of her subjects by expressing their inner lives. Rather than focus on outward appearance, she sees the subject’s consciousness as a web of interwoven thoughts and feelings that have a story to tell. Her paintings are accompanied by texts in which Nittoor describes her encounters with her subjects, along with her interpretations of their inner dialogue. It is the combination of pen, brush, and Nittoor’s native talent as a storyteller that distinguishes her work. Also, Nittoor’s experiences as a cultural outsider drives her curiosity in selecting subjects from as wide a cultural spectrum as possible.
Nittoor lives in New Jersey for more than two decades.