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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Afifa Aleiby - عفيفه العيبي

Afifa Aleiby

عفيفه العيبي
























Born in Basra, Iraq in 1953

1974 Graduated at the Istitute of Arts, Baghdad, Iraq.
1981 Graduated at the Surikov Institute of Arts, Moscow, Russia.







Afifa Aleiby has emerged from the humanistic, agnostic currents that have existed in Iraq for thousands of years. It is the same current that made the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers the cradle of western civilization. But it is the same sense of liberty that made Afifa Aleiby flee her country after she finished her academy education in Baghdad at age 22. She went to study at the Surikov Institute in Moscow where she studied with Ivan Loubennikov, among others. The eight years in Moscow were followed by 12 years in Florence and a short spell teaching in Yemen. For several years Afifa Aleiby has lived in The Netherlands.
Her work is steeped in the mentality that her life has determined. Her self-awareness as a woman, her struggles, but also her dreams and her unshakable belief in a better future took form in monumental figures of women. In addition to the unmistakable Arabic roots of the style, it is fascinating to see how Aleiby’s work was influenced by her stay in Russia, Italy and The Netherlands. Striking in the new collection is the fact that the eyes of the personages depicted are directing their gaze outwards, where her earlier ones were predominantly closed. The inner quest seems complete; the world can be encountered with renewed insight.




































Raed Al-Rawi

Raed Al-Rawi

رائد نوري الراوي


''In my paintings, I observe themes of emotional close connections and divisions as well as my deepening sense of time and history. These themes are inspired by my heritage of constantly being connected to ancient and present culture while growing up in Baghdad, Iraq and also by being a North Carolinian for the past twenty-eight years.

I am fascinated by God's creations as I spend time staring at human faces, shapes, gestures, feelings and movements. I feed these images and emotions to my daydreams and imagination which inspire ideas for my paintings.

Because of its short drying time, I use acrylic paint for my style of building layers of colors as I also choose to maintain an intense momentum while expressing the flow of feelings during painting.

Colors have a powerful symbolism. They speak to me as individuals when I use their power in my work. By blending colors to create a hazy luminosity, I strive to create a deeper dimension to my paintings that gives the feeling of the images’ disappearance into the unknown. Psychologically, humans are curious to know more and they naturally bring their own selves to the unusual subjects and images I bring into the painting. I try to guide the viewer to those feelings we all search for. I have developed this painting style to create images of an ongoing conversation about life.

I feel wonderful when I succeed in making my images speak for themselves and make a connection with the viewer.









My Story

In March of 2004, a year after the US invasion, I visited Baghdad after 24 years of separation. My brother Ahmed who lives in France, traveled with me to Baghdad. We flew from Paris to Amman, Jordan and immediate taxied to Baghdad. It was about an 18 hours trip, non stop. It was indescribable feeling to see my family for the first time with a strange anxiety mixed with fear of coming back to a place after along time. Seeing things had become smaller and older. Hearing the Arabic language as if I’m rediscovering my old vocabularies''


















''In his paintings, Raed Al-Rawi observes themes of emotional connections and divisions as well as a deepening sense of time and history. These themes are inspired by Raed Al-Rawi's heritage. Raed Al-Rawi considers himself connected to ancient and contemporary culture because he grew up in Baghdad, Iraq and he has been in North Carolina for the past 28 years.

Raed Al-Rawi is fascinated by God's creations. He spends lengths of time staring at human faces, shapes, gestures, feelings and movements. Raed Al-Rawi then feeds these images and emotions into his imagination, which inspires his paintings.

Raed Al-Rawi prefers to paint with acrylics ecause of their short drying time. He enjoys painting in a style of building layers of colors. Raed also feels that this short drying time makes it possible for him to maintain an intense momentum that expresses his feelings through the flow of painting while building up layers.

Raed Al-Rawi believes in the powerful sympolism of colors. He states that, "they speak to me as individuals when I use their power in my work. By blending colors to create a hazy luminosity, I strive to create a deeper dimension to my paintings that gives the feeling of the images’ disappearance into the unknown. Psychologically, humans are curious to know more and they naturally bring their own selves to the unusual subjects and images I bring into the painting. I try to guide the viewer to those feelings we all search for. I have developed this painting style to create images of an ongoing conversation about life."

Raed Al-Rawi also comments on his work by saying, "I feel wonderful when I succeed in making my images speak for themselves and make a connection with the viewer." ''

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