The Art of Rajaa Gharbi
Painting : Collective Psychics

Excerpts from selected written reviews and comments on Gharbi’s fine art

“Gharbi’s visuals read like poems. She dissects meaning and reinstates it in a narrative context that embraces forces of an intuitive nature.”
-American Artist Joe Fedderson


“Ms. Gharbi is one of our most accomplished artists”.
-Mr. Mourad Belhassen, Cultural Attaché, Embassy of Tunisia, Washington DC


 “[Her work is] a major visual power... “Gharbi embodies the natural charisma of adescendent from an older culture...I have to remember how physical her work is ...it has grown into a complex combination of “free hand and the search of what’s to be left behind that represents “the making impulse”...the work is unkempt, gestural, lingual, and as she said at one of her readings “...edited almost out of sight”.  I referred to her show “Images, Scripts and Diacritical Signs” with a friend of Gharbi’s “the collected power of her work is a stain that leaves the page and enters your chest. That was the remark that reminded me that the need to make sense of complex mass takes time but it comes.”
-Jon Gierlich. Artist, Design Faculty Cornish Art Institute.


“...Her work has an unmistakable feminine quality to it, evoking connections to birth, creation, and interconnectedness, yet it accomplishes this without falling into cliched “goddessque” iconography. Her use of calligraphic Tifinagh and Arabic echo the shape and form of root and tendril elements woven throughout her pieces. This paring allows the work to suggest not only a physical connection between visual elements but also a connection to bodies of knowledge which transcend time and physical space. Coupled with reoccurring elements evocative of physiological organs, Gharbi’s works remind us of our organic and psycho-philosophical connection to the past and future.”
-Ken Matsudaira, Curator.


 “...Prayers in the temple of the color! Gharbi’s 2001 gouache and watercolor exhibition “...From Songs of a Grasshopper” was a beautiful event, especially after the September 11 events... and the American bombing of Afghanistan. The exhibition was like a cease fire, “Hodna”, or an order to desist from the war, and one almost obediently responded to Gharbi’s brush, her colors and their malleability in her hands...the American Bombs continue to fall, and the paintings are still a refuge in my memory I resort to...”
-Originally written in Arabic by Dr. Salah Kornas. Egyptian Jurist


  “Highly evolved work”
-Michael Kline, curator, Microsoft International Art Collection


“You are soaring
from the magical lands
of the poem
to the mysterious world
of color
through folds of restless,
now melodious, intertwined,
humble,
now fierce, cutting lines
with coffers full of life’s holdings
and the grand-mothers’ endowing
bundled stories
Ah! the fragrance and vigor of
pure milk
and fresh bread
you are telling unspoken truths”
-Originally written in Farsi by Ali Radbooy, Iranian short story writer


“Gharbi’s work integrates themes of life, death, relationships and her cultural roots in a unique form of visual poetry, her ability to show these human themes so powerfully through her strong and affective use of poetry woven through her paintings with the Arabic and other scripts, and her vivid use of colors and images touched me deeply. She brings a perspective that is frequently unseen or heard in this part of the world—that from an accomplished writer and artist, who is a woman, from North Africa (Tunisia) and from a Muslim background.”
-Patti Bezzo. Artist


 “...One can view your work for many hours and see different images.”
-Olivia B. viewer


“The two small paintings from 1977 feel like images captured by a camera...”Exile 2nd phase” seems as if the artist was looking in a mirror...I find an auditory quality in much of your work, the signature sound of night, wind caressing sand... and much of your work is very emotional as well as intellectually provocative, unique and remarkable, a privilege to share. Thank you”.
-Stephan M. viewer


“I liked your piece “Wandering”. The detail is amazing. I love the ripples that center the picture. It makes your eyes concentrate on the middle...what an eclectic group of artwork. They are truly awe-inspiring”.
-S. Wong, viewer


“Your work inspires greatness”
-M.N. Green, Viewer


“Engaging, I love the movement in your work”   
-J. Strauss, viewer            


“Your work reminds me a lot of Georgia O’keeffe’s  and  Miro’s paintings...although your work is different...”   
-Sachiko O.Viewer


“Resplendent and glowing work, you carve three dimensions from 2”
-D.I. Sandler, viewer

Articles

  a- Assahafa's article 12/2010  

  Dreamscapes of the soul  
More info @ David Kennedy McCulloch Website

  Nov. 10.2010 Assahafa article

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