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Representational artist Fran Beallor explains what inspired her to paint the Middle East piece.
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Middle East Piece by Fran Beallor - as part of the series on arts by GeoBeats.
I am Fran Beallor. I am an artist in New York City and this painting is an oil-on- canvas it is titled “Middle East Piece”. I did this painting during the time of the first Gulf War and I was very riveted by the news at the time and was interested in creating a painting using objects from the Middle East and not only objects from the Middle East but also a color palette from the Middle East. Up until now I had been doing paintings that had a lot of rich saturated colors, reds and blues, and greens. In this painting I tried to use a muted desert palette to go with the theme of the painting. One of my thoughts in choosing the objects was that if I could put some Israeli objects and some Arabic objects together and they could co-exist on the canvass, maybe somehow people could co-exist in real life too. Of course there was a little American intervention here.
You can see that I am wearing an antique Arabic wedding dress and this is a self portrait. There was another thing I was trying to do it was a little different here. I had just finished a whole series of self-portraits and a whole series of still life’s but I thought “What would happen if I combined them together?” and so I put a mirror behind the still life setup and that gave me all kinds of excuses for complexity really. I was able to draw the still life from the front view and then you see it again from another angle in the mirror and then you see me painting at the easel. So there are many levels of things going on here in this painting.