With a new gallery just opened in DIFC’s prestigious Gate Avenue and the launch of her exhilarating new collection Psychomachia, Lebanese artist Kristel Bechara is going from strength to strength
With its expressive palette and unusual patterns, Kristel Bechara is well-known for vibrant works of art that explore everything from feminism and freedom, to women’s empowerment, love and diversity. A rising star of the Middle Eastern art world, the Dubai-based artist and mother of two this month celebrates two huge new milestones in her blossoming career – the opening of a new gallery in DIFC and the launch of her latest collection of paintings. Here, MOJEH talks to Kristel about her dreams, emotions and why strong women will always be her most powerful inspirations.
Your new collection Psychomachia is inspired by the works of Roman poet, Prudentius – how is this relevant today?
‘Psychomachia’ is an epic poem from the early fifth century AD by Prudentius, and is considered one of the most influential works in medieval allegory. The themes and ideas explored in the poem are timeless, and its many verses are of great relevance even now. My collection explores a multitude of themes and ideas about vices, virtues and the human condition, and I believe viewers and collectors of my work will find themselves connecting to a number of pieces, since we all have our internal struggles with being virtuous and conquering our vices.
How would you describe the collection itself?
This collection is an exploration of the battle between good and evil, and all the things in between. Each painting is an invitation of self- exploration and discovery. Inspired by Greek mythology, the series takes its viewers on a journey within. The paintings portray mythological figures and fables in a new light, from a perspective that will leave the viewer asking poignant questions about life, love, values and the human condition.
What emotions do you hope to convey through your work?
My dream is to be able to inspire people into realising their full potential and confronting the challenges of being a human in this ever-growing robotic world. I also hope to continue producing art that celebrates women, diversity and ideas that I strive to live by. Moreover, I wish that people can derive a sense of joy and wonder from my work, which is something that this world cannot get enough of.
Many of your past collections are inspired by feminism and strong women – why this theme in particular?
Countless incredibly strong women continue to inspire me in my life, daily. I have long been fascinated with the image of women and feminism, and I aspire to explore different stories about womanhood, each being told through a pose, gesture or an expression while honouring women from all walks of life, showing them in all of their different yet beautiful forms.
Selected works from Psychomachia are currently on display at The Kristel Bechara Art Gallery, Gate Avenue, DIFC. Explore and shop Kristel’s work at atelierkristel.com