two girls with dark hair braiding and intertwining their hair; flower wallpaper-esque in the background

By Manu Saluja
30 x 26 in.
Oil on canvas

“Unraveling” began as a way to show the bond between siblings but became a deeper expression of the ways in which family keeps us bound to old scripts – difficult to untangle. A central feature of my newer work is both my daughter’s long hair. Their identities as Sikh-American girls and my own intimate experience washing, brushing, and braiding their hair throughout their lives, made it important for me to include in the paintings symbolically and as a tactile feature of the work.

Manu Saluja, “The color and textures found in the backgrounds are inspired by my personal surroundings both past and present from my childhood wallpaper to the urban landscape I lived in for 30 years. I employ a variety of brushwork – from loose, chromatic drips and thick strokes, to more subdued and refined expressions of light flowing over form.”

View more of Manu’s work at