2016 Artist's Statement on Recent Works
Incorporating aspects of Indian and Western painting, the newest work explores the boundaries between abstract and representational imagery, color and form, and direct and indirect painting technique.
Through manipulating identifiable subject matter, the oil paintings focus on abstract aspects of different painting styles. Combining the layered, translucent backgrounds that characterize 18th and 19th century British oil painting with the flat, opaque color and borders of Pahari, Rajput, and Mughal miniature painting, the new "hybrid" paintings explore how particular painting styles are inherently imbued with political and geographic connotations. As the relationship between background and border or figure changes, different hierarchical relationships are suggested, not only between East and West, but also between color and value, line and form, and corporeal and inchoate form.
The works on paper further reflect on the boundaries between spiritual form and ephemerality. Referencing the palette and ritual objects of Hindu Puja, the paintings focus on how particular materials are transformed by ritualistic religious practice. As such, they are metaphors for the act of painting itself and for the transformation of colored pigment into illusionistic, expressive form.
Through these juxtapositions, the works engage questions of appropriation, otherness, hierarchy and the role of contemporary painting.