Shahzia Sikander, 1997
Acrylic, dry pigment watercolor, tea wash on linen, 96 x 70 inches
"I was looking at the idea of the goddess. And it didn’t matter how many hands it had, just the notion that it was the female body with several hands was important. A Hindu goddess has a very specific face, and here I was stripping off the face and taking away the identity that defines the goddess and putting the veil on top of it. So it was like playing with both aspects- not to underestimate what’s behind the veil, and at the same time taking away the physical violence of the facial expression and the particular sort of identities that come through the image of the goddess."