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30x22" | watercolor gouache and collage on paper
The Paradise Garden is a recurring theme in Karamallis’s works, building off of the idea of a Persian Paradise Garden traditionally created as an intimate and protected space of relaxation. The Paradise Garden correlates in many ways with the Garden of Eden aesthetically, although the Garden of Eden also marks the beginning of patriarchy, an aspect of Karamallis’s work which she only subconsciously tends to highlight. The works present female figures in their purest form of leisure while using mixed media collage to incorporate motifs from Persian miniatures and Suzani fabrics, historically created by Middle Eastern women signifying protection against evil, fertility, and courage. Intertwining historical narratives with contemporary ideals, Karamallis works imagines a world in which women ‘take back Eden’ - rejecting guilt and shame for the celebration of beauty and vulnerability.
Integral to her work, Karamallis’s use of mixed media collage incorporates paper of varying textures and thickness created from repurposed watercolors, painted paper and digitally designed patterns inspired by Persian tiles representative of her Middle Eastern heritage. The addition of mixed media of varying texture and thickness, creates a unique depth and intricacy to her watercolors.
Signed by the artist.
The work comes with a Certification of Authenticity signed by the Co-Founder of Tappan
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Alexandra Karamallis is a New York-based artist who earned her BFA from Rhode Island School of Design. Her Iranian heritage is a central theme of her work. Identifying as a member of the Baha’i Faith-an oppressed minority in Iran-she explores themes including the oppression of women, art and minority faiths within the context of oppressive authoritarian regimes.
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