"This is what interests me as an artist: how you can create work that somehow transcends place and time," Sikander has said. Her work transcends not only place and time but also social and political boundaries, including her life in New York, her homeland of Pakistan, and neighboring India. Fusing allusions to Muslim and Hindu mythologies with personal stories, literary references, and the humor and irony of everyday life (as in the title of this project, No Parking Anytime), the artist's work challenges definitions of identity and culture.
Sikander works in a compelling range of mediums and formats, each one informing the other, from traditional miniature painting to large-scale wall installation to computer animation. Printmaking is integral to her practice of reusing and expanding upon her own preexisting imagery. In this portfolio, comprising nine prints in all, the artist combines new drawing done directly on the etching plates with details from other work that she has reprocessed digitally. At the center of the composition at left is a radiating form the artist calls a “divine circle.” Emanating from it are female figures, dots, and dozens of arms with hands clenching axes, swords, sticks, ropes, and shields. The circle of weaponry creates a mandala (a fundamental Hindu form); the image refers to the many-armed goddess found in the Hindu and Muslim worlds—a motif that appears in different forms throughout Sikander’s work.
Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2007, p. 218.