In Bullets, Moroccan-born multimedia artist Lalla Essaydi has meticulously sewn thousands of bullet casings together to form intricate mosaic backgrounds. In the foregrounds, her female subjects are adorned in shimmering fabrics and posed to recall (and subvert) Orientalist art; they gaze back at the camera, never as aggressively as in the Bullets series, refusing to be passively “seen.”  Juxtapositions between domestic and public, East and West, male and female, combine for a series Essaydi calls “haunted by space, actual and metaphorical, remembered and constructed.”

Lalla A. Essaydi grew up in Morocco and now lives in USA where she received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/TUFTS University in May 2003. Essaydi’s work is represented by Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston and Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York City. Her work has been exhibited in many major international locales, including Boston, Chicago, Minneapolis, Texas, Buffalo, Colorado, New York, Syria, Ireland, England, France, the Netherlands, Sharjah, U.A.E., and Japan and is represented in a number of collections, including the Williams College Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Fries Museum, the Netherlands, and The Kodak Museum of Art. Her art, which often combines Islamic calligraphy with representations of the female body, addresses the complex reality of Arab female identity from the unique perspective of personal experience.  In much of her work, she returns to her Moroccan girlhood, looking back on it as an adult woman caught somewhere between past and present, and as an artist, exploring the language in which to “speak” from this uncertain space.  Her paintings often appropriate Orientalist imagery from the Western painting tradition, thereby inviting viewers to reconsider the Orientalist mythology.  She has worked in numerous media, including painting, video, film, installation, and analog photography.