Michelle Faux
Michelle Faux
Doctoral Student
Graduate Programme in Art History & Visual Culture
Monstrous and grotesque iconography; caricature; cartooning; print culture; souvenir art; memory; South Asian diasporas; Goan diasporas; transnationalism; immigration history; chain migration; immigrant family photos; maternal theory; food history
Michelle Faux is a doctoral student in Art History and Visual Culture at York University. Michelle’s research focuses on monsters in art as symbols of liminal cultural identity. Michelle’s MA thesis examined the theme of monstrosity in sculptures and bindi-paintings by the contemporary artist Bharti Kher, whose practice is based in Delhi, India. Michelle’s graduate research has expanded to investigate other conceptualisations of monstrosity, including the grotesque, and more ephemeral forms of art, such as caricatures in newsprint. Michelle’s dissertation will analyze works by the Goan cartoonist Mario de Miranda (1926–2011). Miranda was a staff illustrator for the Times of India Press and created thousands of pocket cartoons printed between 1953 to 1977 in daily and weekly publications, such as The Economic Times, and The Illustrated Weekly of India.

Miranda is also known for producing iconic drawings of Goa, India, located on the west coast of the Indian subcontinent. Goa was a colony of Portugal for 450 years, beginning in 1510 until its liberation from the Portuguese by Indian troops in December of 1961. In 1964, the Times of India Press published the book Goa: With Love, a collection of Miranda’s illustrations of people, villages and rural life in Goa for the burgeoning tourist industry, and members of the Goan diaspora on return visits to the “homeland.” Miranda’s nostalgic drawings romanticize the era of Portuguese colonialism, and continue to circulate on souvenirs sold in Goa today, more than 60 years after Independence.

Michelle’s doctoral research will analyze how Miranda’s artworks convey the complicated intercultural history of the region as a digestible idea of “Goa” for tourist consumption, and how these artworks reflect a collective memory of Portuguese-Goa, that still resonates with members of the transnational Goan diaspora. More recently, Michelle has begun to explore Goan immigration history, the establishment of the Goan diaspora in Canada during the early 1970s, and the print and visual culture associated with their social clubs.

Michelle holds an MA in Art History from York University, and an Honors BA in Art History, Visual Art and English Literature from the University of Toronto.

Forthcoming: Michelle Faux, “Exhibition Review: Sarindar Dhaliwal: When I grow up I want to be a namer of paint colours, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada. July 22, 2023 – January 7, 2024.” Asian Diasporic Visual Cultures and the Americas (ADVA) Journal, Vol. 9, No. 1–2, Spring 2024.