DEFACED yet ALLURINGnew digital artwork by Manal Deeb
20 February — 20 March 2015
Reviewed by The Washington Post!
Manal Deeb by Mark Jenkins
Manal Deeb’s own countenance appears in nearly all of her artwork in “Defaced Yet Alluring,” but it’s hard to distinguish it. The Palestinian-bred Fairfax artist superimposes photographs, calligraphy and fabric patterns on her face, constructing a visual
metaphor for how women’s identities are overlaid with societal expectations and political circumstances. Most of the 18 untitled pieces at the Jerusalem Fund Gallery Al-Quds are computer-generated collages, but Deeb also is showing five paintings that blend realism and abstraction. Imagery derived from the paintings also is an element in the digital collages, which are intricately layered with forms and textures to suggest the land of her birth: bark, earth, branches. All these and more, Deeb suggests, create her self.
Palestinian females can be marred by occupation, family traditions and being seen as subordinate to men. These elements create psychological complexities and challenges for Palestinian women to thrive and flourish. The DEFACED yet ALLURING exhibit is an attempt by artist Manal Deeb to show the strength of Palestinian women in facing such obstacles, which simply represent disfigurement to the surface and not to the core “self”. Throughout the generations, Palestinian women’s strength and power have driven them to great achievements, respect and recognition. This digital artwork reflects a mix of self pride, emotional power and positive psychology carried by Palestinian women regardless of the surface scars and controls imposed on their social, political, and intellectual freedom.
VIDEO: “Defaced yet Alluring: A Psychological Insight”
with Dr. Evans Mandes Professor of Psychology, George Mason University
Meet the Artist
Manal Deeb is an Arab American visual artist from the Washington DC area. Manal has had many solo and group exhibits in Washington DC, New York City, Dallas, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago. Her artwork is a reflection of her original identity as an Arab female and the contradiction in living in the U.S. and raising three daughters.Manal has contributed artwork for the causes of Arab females, women rights in general, human rights and the Palestinian cause. Her artwork has recently been shown as part of the “Tortured yet Rising” exhibit at the ARC Gallery, Chicago. The exhibit shed light on the desperation of females in being suppressed yet continuing to thrive. Manal is also part of an on-going international traveling exhibit “The Bridge” which has just opened in Paris. The exhibit’s message is to bridge between the three religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism in an art form of mutual understanding and common living.Manal studied studio arts at UIC, Chicago, and Psychology of Art at GMU, Fairfax, VA. Her studies of fine arts and psychology have provided her with the ability to work on her artwork as a self-therapy tool while presenting projects with vital messages reflecting women’s rights.