Lalla Essaydi's refined work belies its subversive, challenging nature. Moroccan-born, Essaydi became an artist after relocating from Saudi Arabia to the United States. She believes her work, with its intimate portrayal of Moroccan women, would not have been possible without distance from her homeland.
In the last decade, Essaydi has risen to international prominence. Though widely acclaimed as a photographer, few are aware she is accomplished in diverse media. Revisions brings together, for the first time, selections from each photographic series, rarely exhibited paintings, and a multimedia installation. While each work and genre speaks volumes on their own, from the ensemble emerges Essaydi's personal narrative and critical reflection on her experience as a liberal Moroccan, Arab, African, and Muslim woman living across cultures. She sees her work as "intersecting with the presence and absence of boundaries--of history, gender, architecture, and culture--that mark spaces of possibility and limitation. This is my story as well."
Like others with multifaceted identities, Essaydi confronts expectations founded on historical representations and widely held preconceptions. Unlike others, she interrogates them through creative practice in subtle yet powerful acts of revision.
b. 1956, Morocco
Lalla Essaydi's career as an artist began when, as an adult, she moved to France to attend the École des Beaux-Arts (1990-94). She relocated to the United States and received a BFA from Tufts University (1999) and an MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2003). Essaydi lives and works in New York City and Marrakesh, Morocco.