Performing Painting

Mequitta Ahuja's avatar Mequitta Ahuja

My project is to unmask and consolidate the figurative tradition and to stage an intervention. In "Performing Painting," I position a woman of color at the fulcrum of a discourse on representation, making the tradition of figurative representation clear by distilling the form to its salient motifs including one-point perspective, architecture that frames a narrative, and the allegorical figure. In a single work, I use multiple types of representation - realism, schematic design and stylized form. In "Seated Scribbler," I distill to a single image the historical link: artist/scribe/self-portrait. In the past, scribes were artists, and some of the first self-portraits appear in the margins of illustrated manuscripts. In "Fingering Vanitas" and "A Real Allegory of Her Studio," I use the genres of vanitas and self-portraiture to insert myself into the history of the idealized figure from ancient Egyptian statuary to Ingres. This project is a form of tribute, pedagogy and intervention.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth:
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Width: 80" and 96"
  • Year created: 2015
  • Height: 84" and 80"