In a commentary on art history, Mequitta Ahuja incorporates self-portraits in her paintings.
"My work uses the Western style, usually late Gothic and northern Renaissance, with pointed substitutions," Ahuja, 39, said. "By using myself — replacing the artist with an African-American and South Asian woman — it's commenting on that tradition."
Ahuja's three pieces each represent an idea about painting: that it is a form of speech, a series of symbols to be decoded by the viewer and a historical text rewritten by each generation.
By "eliminating the [painting's] decorative elements ... and restricting depiction of light to one element," she highlights metaphors for the viewer.