Dehejia Maat’s paintings are unfinished inventories of fragments: objects, drawings, photographs, and other found things. They are improvisational sites in which the constructed and the ready-made are used to question our making of the world through language and knowledge. Her arrangements are schematic, inviting the viewer to move into a space of speculation. She relies on our desires for beauty, poetics and seduction.
“I’ve never liked to explain a certain piece of work - if you’ve made a picture and that’s how you wanted it to be - hopefully it can speak for itself and whatever it says to the viewer - it’s the right message because there isn’t a wrong message. Each person takes something a little different from the same picture and I’m happy with that.”
Teaching all forms of art at Lowell School’s, after school program has allowed her to get back to the youthful joy of unbiased creating.
Being self-taught never stopped this artist from making her mark on the world. Her art and poetry has graced The Smithsonian African Art Museum, The Sewall-Belmont House and Museum, Art-O-Matic, and HerStory Baltimore exhibit. In 2010 Dehejia published two books, Deep Rooted Soul Sista Poems and The Yes that Leads to Infinity. Painting makes her an artist, not her qualifications, something she shares with all of her students. She is inspired by the art of her native people, yoga, and nature. Her favorite artists include, Frida Khalo, Georgia O’Keefe, and Krista Franklyn.
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