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Meet our Wonder Woman

Karnataka : Bengaluru : 05/11/2016 : Artist Monisha Miriam interacting with The Hindu in Bengaluru on Saturday 05 November 2016. Photo : Sudhakara Jain.   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

Earlier this year, when artist Monisha Miriam uploaded her Wonder Woman artwork on the Warner Brothers’ website to enter a competition, she didn’t think much of it.

To her surprise and delight, she soon got an email saying that her black-and-white rendition of the Amazonian warrior-princess was selected to be shown at New York Comic Con 2016 (NYCC) in October this year.

“It was part of the Art of Wonder stall, where the works of several artists from around the world were being showcased. What made it really special was that the exhibit celebrated 75 years of Wonder Woman,” says Monisha. A die-hard fan of all things involving superheroes, this recognition was really encouraging, she adds. The Bangalore-based artist grew up in Chennai, and currently works as a concept artist at GSN Games.

From the hundreds of thousands of visitors who attended NYCC this year, the only person who mattered also shared the image on social media.

That was Israeli actor Gal Gadot, who plays the titular role in the upcoming movie, Wonder Woman, set to release in June 2017. Says a delighted Monisha, “She shared a video of seven fan art pieces, one of which was mine!”

For those who don’t know, Wonder Woman has been selected by the United Nations as the new honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls.

This hasn’t gone down too well with a lot of people: since the announcement, there has been a ton of backlash about why she isn’t the best choice — not least because she is a fictional character.

In fact, according to a Vogue report, at the event in which the announcement was made, “several female U.N. staffers turned their backs to the podium and raised their fists in opposition. Halfway through the event, many of them walked out of the room”.

These events haven’t fazed the U.N.; they have planned a travelling exhibit with fan art and more to celebrate the superhero.

And, that’s where Monisha got more good news — her work was also selected to be part of this exhibit. While she is ecstatic about this, she says she is saddened by the fact that so many people are opposing Wonder Woman as an ambassador.

She explains, “In the beginning, Wonder Woman was not ideal at all... But she, like all of us, has grown. For someone like me, living in a developing country steeped in paradoxical ideas of femininity, I needed and still need someone like that to look up to.”

Working in a male-dominated industry, where she is usually the lone female artist, has also given Monisha a different perspective: “The sole woman in the Justice League is obviously someone my geek self can look up to. Being a woman has never been easy. If any of us had a choice to be her for one day and feel the raw power of walking around and have men be wary of us, we’d take it. Even though she doesn’t exist in real life, we all have contributed to who she has become and who she will be. She is a part of us.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 6:58:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Meet-our-Wonder-Woman/article16439207.ece

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