Anas Albraehe's "A glance," 2016, oil on canvas, 120 x 90cm.
Photo courtesy of ArtSpace Hamra
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Manal was born with Down syndrome and lived alone and isolated from society. With her playful authenticity, spontaneity, she became Albraehe's muse and the subject of canvases.Albraehe, who holds an MA in Psychology and Art Therapy from the Lebanese University, wanted to move her beyond her frame of mind for a time and relax her.Albraehe recreated these images as a backdrop for his own work – in "Neighborhood Scenes," for example.This may be what Albraehe found so exquisite about his model.Joy and pain are mirrored in her eyes, and apparent in Albraehe's portrayals, which reveal the psychology of color and the other's glance.It's clear in these works how much Albraehe missed Manal, as the backgrounds became more abstract, as if to reflect his feelings of loss and longing.Albraehe's "Manal" series can be read as a vessel for kindness shining in the dark.Anas Albraehe's "Manal" is up at Artspace Hamra through this week.
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