Ariel Freiberg

Bedouin Ring
oil on linen
[48"h x 36"w]
Figurative oil paintings

Media: Drawing, Painting, Printmaking

Vernon Street Studios
6 Vernon Street 37

MAP # 58

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At heart, I seek to make and engage with materials as an attempt at forging certainty through topics and ideas of uncertainty. Painting itself is a tool to stabilize, and its materiality has deep roots in history. For me, as with the works of Jean-Antonie Watteau, painting is built with marks of sensory desire. Watteau transforms the materiality of paint; paint evokes silk, skin, touch, air in a uniting dissidence of materiality. Desiring to make images that both unite dissidence yet retain the integrity of the materiality of paint, I ride the edge of disquiet. I unabashedly embrace the most romantic language in painting. This romanticism is possible because at their core, the work probes perception, both visual and cultural.

My recent work confronts idealized representations of gendered identities and my family’s Iraqi history. In the lush and sensuous canvases, there depicts women’s faces that appear to blend into or emerge out of abstractly painted veils. From painted shards or tears emerge fragments of facial expressions—such as a flash of a parted lip or a slice of an alluring glance—that become signifiers of constructed female beauty. These paintings hesitate, creating tension between that which is depicted and that what remains unseen.