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Explorations

Closer to Wildness: Interview with Oregon Artist Irene Hardwicke Olivieri

“I realize that many people might never read what I write in a painting, but I like knowing that if they do, they might find something interesting, like the text in one painting describes how to raise caterpillars, another describes aphrodisiac recipes from around the world. When I’m working on a painting about something deeply personal like family secrets, the text happens organically – I’m feeling, thinking, painting.”

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Marwa Alnajjar, Amman, Jordan: “We defend our artworks with our fists and our crazy courage”

Countries in the Middle East vary a lot. for instance, there is a great difference between Dubai and Afghanistan, but professional women are oppressed all over the world in many ways. I myself have faced a lot of obstacles being a woman artist, yet I knew that women can do everything men could do. The more men have told me, “you can’t do that,” the more I had to prove them wrong. I had to hold it up for all women who looked up to me to be brave and courageous. We defend our artworks with our fists and our crazy courage. When you have guys that disrespect you, you’re gonna have to teach them a lesson, otherwise they are going to keep walking all over you. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is out there; it’s not easy. But this also reflects views of the art world in general.

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