The Poster Girls Of Kolkata

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“Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life”, once said the great Pablo Picasso.  Art has always been the life for the ‘City of Joy’ – Kolkata and there have been many renowned artists who have flourished not only in the city of Kolkata but also the whole world with their amazing way of thinking and brilliant strokes of paint brushes. But the number is very few who could reach to that standard of showcasing their talent on the world stage. The number who could not make it is huge. The reason for their failure may not be their lack of talent compared to the popular ones but there could also be various reasons which may include the financial problems and lack of financial support from their family because “an empty mind cannot think of Art”. There were families who did not support their way of thinking and forced them to peruse some professionals who would help them make ‘both ends meet’. Some aristocrat families felt that their child was born to look after their family business and that should be his one and only aim and rest was not only secondary but also obsolete.

“Every Child is an Artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up” said Picasso. The process of suppressing Art with mainstream education will be a never ending process. There are a few who keep their love and passion for art alive, even after going through their regular education and scoring good marks. Here is the story of two girls, completely different from each other in their place of living, school, education but the only fact they have in common is the love for Art.

Neetika Maitra, a 17-year-old, can blow your mind with her paintings or rather “Posters”, which are right on the face of our society. Her way of thinking, level of maturity, and mindset of looking at the society is not only to be appreciated but also to be learnt from.  Her posters are so meaningful that any organization can use them to give out a message to the society. Her posters include issues like Eve Teasing, sexual abuse against women in our society and abortion of girl child.  Not only does she put a light at the darker side of life but also at the brighter side of the society. Her poster on Sikkim Tourism is a piece of art and can easily be the poster for the tourism department of the Sikkim Government. Her potential for posters if guided in a proper direction can do wonders for her but her marks in her CBSE class 12 boards are not enough to allow her to persuade her career in Applied Arts in Indian ArtCollege, Kolkata. Along with painting, Neetika is also an excellent Odissi dancer. She is a National Scholarship holder in Odissi and even gets paid by the government for her dance expenses.

Neetika Maitra

Neetika Maitra’s posters


The second talent that I want to bring light upon is another young lady of 20 years old, Bidisha Nandy. Bidisha is a part of that new India where career is given preference before hobby. Can you guess what is she studying at present? Bidisha is doing her BA LLB from George School of Law. She had a passion for designing since childhood. Her designs can equally be compared to any design drawn by a professional fashion designer. It was only her hobby for painting that made her draw such beautiful designs, but this hobby remained as a mere hobby and she took admission in a Law College. If that was not the case then we could have had a brilliant fashion designer from our own city.

Bidisha Nandy

Bidisha Nandy’s posters

Apart from drawing designs for dresses, Bidisha does painting and sketching which she defines as ‘Free Art’. The title is very true as any form of art is a way of freely expressing emotions.  As it says “Beauty is in the eyes of the Beholder”, I found a different meaning altogether after studying these painting for quite some time and it says one word “Peace”. I leave it to your fine sense of justice so that you find your own form of meaning from these paintings.


Once Isabel Bishop told – “I didn’t want to be a woman artist, I just wanted to be an artist”, It was maybe because people categorize art on the basis of gender which is no less than gender discrimination.

After presenting such beautiful paintings to all readers, I would like to end it with few lines by John Keats.

A thing of beauty is a joy forever,
Its loveliness increases,
It will never pass into nothingness

No wonder, Neetika Maitra and Bidisha Nandy are the ‘Poster Girls of Kolkata’.
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