About Nalini Asha Biggs
Nalini Asha Biggs has been drawing and painting since she was a child learning from Bob Ross and inspired by zoology. After years of working in education and media production, she has returned to studio art with a line of designs called "Spectrum," featuring unexpected flora and fauna reflecting a singular tone of color and arranged in art nouveau inspired patterns and designs. Her work references art nouveau artists such as Gustav Klimt and Alphonse Mucha, designers such as William Morris and William Killburn, as well as scientific illustration such as Ernst Haeckel and James Audubon. Most recently Nalini Asha has evoked Rococo and Baroque composition into a Neorococo style, playing on themes of ecology, color theory, and arts decoratifs, reveling in unusual and intentionally excessive applications of biology onto the flamboyant, intricate design work of 18th century artisans, part of what she describes as a Biogoth aesthetic.
Previously she has worked in oils on canvas with metal foil to paint surreal, art nouveau oceanscapes featuring the animals, plants, and microscopic organisms of the Abyss linked here. Deploying the flat, glittering aesthetic of Klimt she plays with scale often depicting microscopic diatoms and phytoplankton dominating sea kelp and giant squid, with special care to replicate the iridescent and translucent qualities of these gelatinous marine organisms.
Nalini Asha has studied art sporadically since she was a child, double majoring in Studio Art (alongside Literature/Writing) at the University of California, San Diego, culminating in showing her series Reproduction, a feminist meditation on oil reproductions of famous "classical" female nudes from Bouguereau to Picasso, with samples linked here.
While completing graduate studies at the University of Oxford, St. Antony's College, she also produced a series of fieldwork drawings later published as illustrations in a volume she edited entitled Education and HIV/AIDS which can be viewed here. These illustrations meditate on the visual culture of disability in western and central Kenya, a former area of research.
Nalini Asha lives in San Diego, California with her partner Travis Biggs and their child Sage Asha Biggs who is also starting to draw and paint, inspiring a forthcoming children's book called the ABCs of Color. She plants San Diego natives in her garden and regularly visits the Scripps Birch Aquarium and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park for inspiration and models for her paintings and designs. Having grown up in the region, she pulls from her childhood experiences camping in the mountains of San Diego, snorkling in La Jolla Cove and other local beaches, hiking in Torrey Pines, as well as her childhood love of biology and ecology books and documentaries. She also embroiders the Rococo patterns of William Killburn
Each fall Nalini Asha puts down her paints and camera equipment to carve pumpkins as the Pumpkin Professor, carving intricate designs and portraits into monster pumpkins as well as editing tutorials on the art and science of pumpkin carving for all levels of ability.
She is also the co-founder and Creative Director of Kaleyedoscope Productions alongside her business partner Caroline Collins with whom she is illustrating a children's book entitled "Susie's Gold," as part of a series of stories of young people of color in California history. This series inspired the "California Collection" of Arts and Crafts inspired surface pattern design featuring indigenous plant and animal life to southern California. Nalini Asha and Caroline met as graduate students in UCSD's Department of Communication where they learned to produce films and have since won several awards for their productions, specializing in short documentaries and promotional films for activists, scholars, and policy makers as well as online communications management in the San Diego County region. Visit the Kaleyedoscope Productions official website for more information on Nalini and Caroline's film and other media production work.