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The Beast-Filled Paintings of Maha Ahmed

Painter Maha Ahmed’s creature-filled paintings are inspired by traditional Persian and Japanese techniques and sensibilities. Rendered in gouache on paper, the works often feature the beasts fully enveloped by their natural backdrops.

Painter Maha Ahmed’s creature-filled paintings are inspired by traditional Persian and Japanese techniques and sensibilities. Rendered in gouache on paper, the works often feature the beasts fully enveloped by their natural backdrops.

“Ahmed’s most recent work is informed by traditional Persian miniature painting and classical Japanese landscape painting techniques, specifically the Yamato-e style,” Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery says. “In this series she uses kumokasumi (clouds and mist in Japanese) as a way of creating negative spaces that depict the intangible boundaries created by the formation of collective narratives that stem from signifiers such as gender and race. Each painting is an immersive imagined world in which the beasts almost disappear in the landscapes in an attempt to fit in, only to find themselves lost and alone.”

See more on the gallery’s site.

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