Today we’d like to introduce you to Mequitta Ahuja.
Mequitta, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
For much of my life, my story and the story of my work was focused on my unique ethnic heritage. As an African American and South Asian Indian woman, I am part of two racial minority groups, each of which I celebrate. But ideas of the model minority and Indian exceptionalism pit Indians against African Americans. In my work, I drew on both sides of my heritage to visualize a constructive, unified identity. As I grew older and developed a greater sense of self-acceptance, I became less concerned with issues of identity and belonging. Since the form of my work is self-portraiture, I had to come up with a new approach. Now, I take on the genre of self-portraiture.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
My mission as an artist is to change the terms of the self-portrait especially the self-portrait of a woman or a person of color. We so often look to women and to people of color as experts on our social condition and for our personal biographies, but we can become experts on anything we pursue, and I aim to hold and to embody in my work, a position of authority within the field of painting including its history. My aim is to move the woman of color’s self-portrait away from personal biography and identity or social condition and toward a discourse on representation. And by representation, I mean, everything involved with the making of pictures and how pictorial representation works, visually, historically, socially.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
I think the most useful and hard-earned skill I have developed is patience. Advice: Live below your means, Trust the process, spend as much time-on-task as possible.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I maintain my own website and regularly update it with images of my most recent work and shows: http://www.mequittaahuja.com
- Website: http://www.mequittaahuja.com