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El Khatmah

Gouache on brown paper
28.3 x 20"(72 x 51 cm)

In the 1990s being a professional art model in Saudi Arabia was not only unorthodox, it was illegal. Thus, my parents’ household staff and my friends became my subjects. I soon learned that for a non-professional, sitting for hours was a painful endeavour. This doorman was an exception—I made sure he was comfortable. I decided that if I sat him down facing away, I could also avoid his misogynistic gaze. It was a cool autumn’s day, standing in the garden with my easel, I managed to get the painting done within a couple of hours.