Bahaar Dhawan Rohatgi loved arguing her cases in the court of law and working for big legal corporates but could never suppress the artist inside of her crying to be let out. Completing her law degree from the prestigious Symbiosis Law School, Bahaar worked as a senior associate in the prestigious law firm, Amarchand Mangaldas in Delhi for five long years before deciding to pursue her passion for painting full-time. Throughout her years of schooling and college, Bahaar was great at multitasking, performing exceedingly well in her academics while juggling extracurricular activities like art, culture, sports, and dancing too.
“Art has always been an integral part of my life. I also have a strong sense of what to my mind is art that appeals to me and conceptually I need not always be swayed by the opinions of critics.” Bahaar says that her years of experience in the legal field have helped her build a strong foundation for her career as an artist.
The Bold And Beautiful Art Of Bahaar
Bahaar Art is all about Bahaar herself being bold, expressive, and fearless while using a range of different mediums. She says that it’s more important to make others see rather than what she creates. “I would describe it as visceral and dramatic. Each piece is unique and tells a story.” “The process and genesis behind Bahaar’s artworks have spanned both the zenith and the nadir and has been emotionally cathartic,” was the description given by the curator of her first show. “I would like to call Bahaar Art as a culmination of my journey in life thus far,” says a proud Bahaar. From abstracts to animals and women, her art traverses across boundaries, deconstructing perceived notions while reflecting her personal experiences.
Bahaar admits that the triggering point that pushed her to become an artist was, in fact, her demanding legal career. Initially, her tight deadlines and work commitments didn’t allow her enough time to pursue her passion but she would often imagine locking herself up in a studio somewhere and going wild on a canvas!
The Making Of An Artist
“The seeds of entrepreneurship were sown in my law firm itself with many associates and partners investing in my works.” Bahaar began selling her artwork in 2012 and quickly earned the moniker ‘Ms. Duracell’ for being ‘a lawyer by day and an artist by night’! She soon became unstoppable, wanting to paint more and more each day. She soon realized that her demands at work and the desire to follow her dreams as an artist left her very fatigued and decided that this was not sustainable.
After Bahaar got married she decided to stop juggling law and the arts and take a call. She challenged herself to put up her first official exhibition and test the waters before she took the plunge. After a few months of hard work and several hours of painting and preparing, Bahaar debuted her work in an exhibition in May 2015, which as expected, was a smashing success. And after that, there was no looking back.
Bahaar immersed herself in understanding the technical side of art and the existing legal framework in different parts of the world in relation to art. She travelled to Japan to give a talk regarding art law in India, organized by the American Bar Association. And now, Bahaar enjoys balancing art and law, as art, she says, is something one need not create every day so long as the mind is artistically or curiously engaged.
“I am a self-taught artist and my paintings are an outcome of the marriage of very different disciplines, law, and the freedom of an artist detached from definitions and boundaries,” Bahaar says that a lot of her paintings are a representation of her vivid dreams. She loves to create abstract expressions of women and animals different from what they are usually perceived as. “I am a feminist and women are predominant in my works.”
Carving A Career Of Colours And Canvas
Bahaar loves exploring with different art materials and uses the cosmos and galaxies, landscapes and her travelling experiences as influences in her work. Her legal experiences, interacting with different kinds of people and hearing their life experiences have helped ignite her mind with ideas for the canvas. She hopes that her art will change the current art angle in India and increase investment and valuation of art in the art market while furthering the art laws in India.
“Support of elders is paramount,” she says. “People really take this for granted but I count my blessings every day. My parents also inspire me in so many ways.” She extends credit to her in-laws, her husband, her sister and last but most important of all, her mother. Although initially skeptical about her colossal career change, they realized that it’s not just purpose but passion that drives a person’s choice of career and gave Bahaar all the support and backing she could have ever hoped for.
Believe in yourself, and do what you are here for because those who mind don’t matter and the ones who matter, don’t mind.”
Bahaar intends to give back to the art community by helping artists, dealers, and galleries. Besides increasing investor confidence in the art market and valuation of artwork, she also plans to use her expertise in the legal field to bring about legislative/executive orders which would help increase transparency and accessibility.
Present And Future Ventures
Currently, Bahaar has multiple collaborations and is the face of several huge campaigns, of course having a blast all the way. She is soon showcasing her work in the prestigious Arte Laguna in Venice and has another four exhibitions lined up. She has been associated with some prestigious brands like Pernod Ricard for creating a bar with a backdrop or her artworks for the launch of a new wine in Spain. “These have been some of the memorable experiences, to name a few. I wish to create many more with my art now being exhibited in different parts of Europe.”
This awe-inspiring artist leaves us with some bold words of advice and to all those who are afraid to burst out of their social stigma bubble to follow dreams of their own. “Don’t let anything stop you from following your passion and dreams. You must have an innate urge to do so. Seek your family’s support and gain their confidence.”
Bahaar says that there are no shortcuts to achieving your dreams and success and hard work is inevitable. Most importantly, if you enjoy what you do, it is sure to bring you positive results. If you fall, get up and try again; people may point fingers but that shouldn’t sway you from your dreams. Set small targets and work towards achieving them without getting deterred or derailed to make others happy.
Bahaar says that everyone’s happiness is in their own hands and you cannot take that burden upon yourself because that can be counterproductive, no matter how well intended your feelings are. Lastly, she adds, “Believe in yourself, and do what you are here for because those who mind don’t matter and the ones who matter, don’t mind.”