The Striking Women Portraits of Gherdai Hassell

Intuition lies at the base of Gherdai Hassell’s creative process. A self-taught artist, her practice includes painting and collage making, with her work consisting mostly of women (and specifically women of color) portraits. “The work is beyond me,” writes Hassell on her website, “I can’t claim myself as the source for it. I’m just the vessel.”

According to Hassell, her passion for art was always there. “I have loved art since I was a child,” she told PinkSand Entertainment. “I’ve always had a creative mind and wanted to build or create or bring to life those images in my head.” As such, she treats her practice as her calling, tackling themes that include representation, perception, and identity creation.

“I usually create pieces that have deeper meanings and are controversial,” notes Hassell. “I once saw a quote that read, ‘if it doesn’t disturb you, it’s not art’. I wholeheartedly believe this, art is supposed to move people, invoke feeling, if it doesn’t do this, it’s not a great piece of work. I want my art to inspire, excite, motivate, move, promote question of the status quo and push conversion of controversial topics.”

With her work exhibited in countries like Bermuda and China, Hassell’s message is clearly getting across. “It’s an honor for me to create this work. I’m doing what I’ve been called to, and for that, I’m grateful,” she says.

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“Zones of interaction” available through Black Pony Gallery on @artsy in my online Solo Exhibition “Collecting the Gaze” , ink, watercolor, Copic marker, textured archival paper on digital background. . . My first online solo show has me thinking about how Technology has changed the ways in which we interact with one another. The fact that I can have an art exhibition online, without the work occupying real life space is mind blowing to me. I’m thinking of presence and absence. And how technology brings someone across the globe into our living rooms within a matter of seconds. It has widened the scope of accessible knowledge. It has fostered cross cultural relationships, bridging gaps between perceived differences amongst people. It has moved galleries online, digital social media has birthed a whole social culture around the ideas of publishing. It would be remiss of me not to consider these changes within our world, and how this has and can have an effect on the ways in which artists do and can create. So I wanted to partake in a different way of making. One that merges, painting, collage, calligraphy and digital drawing. These are what my recent works are an exploration of. It’s an introspection into the Ways in which I can engage all aspects of creation, through intuitive painting, figuration, fashion, representation as digital art. And use these elements to juxtapose ideas of figures that occupy space, and exploration of how the same figures are invisible in the real world through, represented as negative space. This revelation of space occupation is just as fascinating as it is thought provoking. . . #gherdaihassell #artsy #collage #digitalart #myalibii #contemporaryart #collagist #artistsoninstagram

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