MEQUITTA AHUJA (B. 1976)
Rhyme Sequence: Jingle Jangle
oil, acrylic and paper collage on canvas
84 x 80in. (213.4 x 203.2cm.)
Executed in 2012
Thierry Goldberg, New York.
Irena Hochman Fine Art Ltd, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2013.
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New York, Thierry Goldberg Gallery, Mequitta Ahuja, 2013.
London, Saatchi Gallery, Champagne Life, 2015, p. 22 (illustrated in colour, p. 23).
Built of a historically royal palette of rich blues and golds, Mequitta Ahuja recalls the power and grandeur of portraiture in her personal mythography Rhyme Sequence: Jingle Jangle. In this self-portrait, Ahuja depicts an exultant figure presiding over a landscape made of a fusion of traditional techniques such as Indian textile printing blocks, drawing together creative and cultural legacies on a global plane and thereby underlining her own South Asian and African American heritage. Committed to the agency in one’s power to present oneself, this present lot embodies Ahuja’s mantra that expands the genre of self-portraiture beyond identity, into the constructive process itself. Highlighting the complex fabrication of the piece, the coins of thick impasto and collaged pieces of printed elements visible beneath the textured skin of the figure, Ahuja reinforces the craft behind her creation. In doing so, she reclaims the artist’s power to drive discourse, generating an auto-mythology fusing traditions such as Hindu deities with personal biography in a rich, vibrant celebration of self. “I depict the woman in my work, myself, my subject, as self-sufficient and creatively expansive,” Ahuja notes. “I see her as myself but also as an emblem, a female archetype—empowered, skillful and abundantly imaginative.”
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