World Art Dubai recognizes her as Best Emerging Artist in 2021. Her large, unique mixed media canvases depict highly symbolic portraits of women who come to life.
The women she shows could resemble her; tall women, present, to what is happening around and within them, composed of a thousand stories and collages linked to the history of the place. They are a hit; exhibit themselves with their unique look that would stand out among a thousand in the Emirates, Europe or New York. They are made of collage, the preferred mode of expression of the mixed media artist who is increasingly investing in the world of NFTs. Magda Malkoun recently presented a solo exhibition entitled Metamorphosis at the FTnft Phygital space in Dubai, which included five paintings and eleven digital animations. Scanned with the phone, the physical works themselves also came to life, taking on new life and thereby offering a new experience to visitors. The artist also delights in this exploration; of the construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of her own work because to achieve the digital version, she must go through that; an adventure reflecting the human condition which never ceases to fascinate in its “oscillation”. This passion and commitment earned her the opportunity to participate with her painting “Hope” in the Women’s Pavilion as part of the Cop 28 event which opens in Dubai on December 6.
The artist’s way of working itself reflects this hope in all directions. Indeed, it was following the explosion of August 4 that Magda Malkoun “starts taking photos of Beirut for his own consolation” she says. She comes from Dubai where she has lived for seventeen years and she walks around the city and takes photos non-stop. “I started reconstructing these photos one by one again to feel that I was helping in my own way to rebuild the city. It gave me hope to see that we can rebuild something beautiful from destruction. This was my message of hope through my work. » It is moreover the works created in particular, following this tragic event which will launch it. The success they are experiencing makes him want to work harder. The self-taught artist, who originally comes from the business world, invests himself completely in his art. She says she has had this passion for collage since she was a child. “When I want to do research on a theme, my method is to take a lot of photos or collect them and then make collages. It’s a childhood thing, this way of doing things. It’s a way of thinking.” His artistic process involves creating collages from selected fragments of his own photos, focusing on shape, color and symbol. “ It’s like a visual initiatory journey through my personal experiences. Each of my portraits is made up of a mix of photos that I choose according to the story that I seek to deploy, which I ultimately hope will contribute to creating a collective memory based on tolerance and hope. explains the artist. “ My work is an invitation to look more closely at the details and to understand that everyone is made up of multiple experiences and stories; and therefore, an invitation to look for similarities rather than dissimilarities” she continues.
Thus, each painting is the result of a long immersion and a process which includes several phases. It is this silence that allows the artist to emerge from ordeals as strong as the women she depicts and who cultivate peace and solidarity through their wounds. Magda Malkoun admires the resilience of women in this harsh and complex East, and their ability to reinvent themselves. Times of conflict and violence do not leave her unmoved; she grew up during the war; she thus tackles her own version of Picasso’s Guernica “to portray the perspective of mothers, sisters, daughters and wives in the Middle East, who despite loss and pain are ready to embrace a new day”. His painting represents “the collective pain due to a history marked by conflict and destruction and is a passionate call for peace. The composition is unconventional; The disturbing faces created by a meticulous collage of real images of war-ravaged buildings serve as a historical archive, to prevent the recurrence of such tragedies”. Thus, the artist is nominated twice, in May 2022 and in July 2023, to represent Lebanon in the art camp sponsored by UNESCO to promote peace and sustainable development. This camp, entitled « Colors of the Planet », which brought together 25 international artists in residence for ten days and which was held in Ajman in the United Arab Emirates in 2022 and in Andorra in 2023, symbolizes UNESCO’s efforts to bring people together through dialogue and exchanges. intercultural. Ambassadors of peace, two works by Magda Malkoun are already part of the permanent UNESCO collection, exhibited at the headquarters in Paris and collectors of various nationalities acquire them: Lebanese, Saudis, French, Indians and Emiratis. Magda Malkoun thinks that it is the message she seeks to convey that attracts these buyers, namely hope. Moreover, is his first series “Scars Of History” inspired by the words of the Prophet of Gebran Khalil Gebran : “From suffering, the strongest souls emerged; the most marked temperaments are marked with scars.”
For her art, she says she is directly inspired by Modigliani for his portraits of sensual women, by Klimt for his highly decorative style and by Picasso with his cubist portraits. This does not prevent it from combining this inspiration with the possibilities offered by technology, thanks to which it finds a positioning that sets it apart. “In my transition from traditional collage and photography to digital art, I found a new meditative process that allows me to deconstruct my work into several levels, animating individual fragments” she says. “This adds life and energy to my pieces. In my physical compositions, I have always paid attention to movement; the transition to digital art was thus natural (…) Each of the mediums, physical and digital, has enriched my art. I learned new techniques that I brought back to my physical painting. Now, dAndWhen I create it, I think about how the canvas will move. My journey in digital art has influenced and improved my entire artistic practice.
The Lebanese based in Dubai who carries Lebanon and its wounds in her heart and in her work, mother of three children, has ambition and emotions and does not hide it. His portraits are pretexts for transcribing emotions rather than figures stricto sensu; to track down the soul behind faces and silhouettes. It is undoubtedly this soul which emerges from her work which earned her the recognition for example by Sotheby’s Institute of Art as part of an open call entitled Roots, for her painting “Contemplation” which was exhibited at New York in October 2022, following which its digital web Determination was exhibited on billboards at the Vellum gallery in Los Angeles, specializing in digital art. Still in the United States, his painting “Storm Rider” will be exhibited this December in Miami as part of the Red Dot Miami art fair.
Originally publishedIt is in the Orient by Day