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Ghada Amer, Cactus Painting, 2018

Ghada Amer (b. 1963)

Cactus Painting

Installation at Centre de Création Contemporaine Olivier Debré, Tours, France

The artist was born in Cairo (Egypt) in 1963; she then moved to France at the age of 11.

She studied arts at the Villa Arson in Nice, and the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques in Paris. In the mid 90’s, she moved to New-York, where she still resides to this day.

Torn between two opposite cultures from her early childhood (being both French and Egyptian), Ghada Amer freely admits having experienced the need to be “just like everybody else” at a very young age. Her desire to fit society’s standards undeniably inspired her 20 years long research and reflection on female stereotypes. Archetypes of love and happiness, and advertisements addressed to the "emancipated" Western woman are intertwined with images found in pornographic magazines, where the woman is visually positioned as an “object” of heterosexual male desire.

Ghada Amer began her artistic career with drawing and collage; in the mid 80’s, she decided to focus her work on sewing and textile work, using patterns from fashion magazines. Her paintings are only partially made of paint; the artist mainly relies on embroidery to create her minutely elaborated works.

It is through that fastidious and painstaking technique that Ghada Amer has chosen to carve out her identity as an artist and a woman.

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