Anju Dodiya includes aspects of self-portraiture in many of her works. The protagonists of her meticulous watercolors, intense charcoal drawings and sumptuous acrylic paintings on upholstery and mattresses are all fictive alter-egos cast into a variety of whimsical, theatrical and sometimes violent scenarios. Masquerade and theater are central motifs as are objects and personas from these imaginary realms, elaborate masks, costumes, magicians, actors, and harlequins, all permeate the paintings. Her compositions and imagery are drawn from a wide spectrum of sources ranging from Medieval and Renaissance painting and tapestry and Japanese Ukiyo-e prints to European films and mass media images.
"Who is the androgynous protagonist of 'The Garden of Capillaries,' paintbrush in hand, a troubadour of sharp edges who comes to life on an orange field picked out with purple flowers, reminiscent in its delicacy of folios from the Jehangiri atelier? A journeyman or a girl in breeches? A lad who has just joined some youth organization of the 1920s or 1930s? Or a minstrel for tomorrow, now man now woman, a troubadour of sharp edges? The accordion that the figure carries is held in counterpart by the whip painted across the surface: do we have a portrait of the artist here, as a lifelong hostage to the calculus of pleasure and discipline, whose work gets done between the savouring of private delight and the relentless demands of a public career?" (R. Hoskote, My shadow flies from me like a bird of smoke: Recent Works by Anju Dodiya, Bose Pacia, New York, 2006)