Posted by Hannah Locop on June 07, 2016 in Blog

A Brooklyn-based artist, Diana Al-Hadid was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1981. At the age of five, her family immigrated to Cleveland, Ohio. The daughter of a florist and an insurance agent, Al-Hadid pursued a BFA at Kent State University and an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. She later attended the prestigious Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Al-Hadid uses a variety of materials such as polymer gypsum, fiberglass, wood, tin foil and steel to construct her works, renowned for their dripping gold features. When discussing what drives her creativity, Al-Hadid says she often follows her instincts, while finding inspiration in European Renaissance works, architecture and science. “It's interesting to watch people think, 'Hmm, why is she dealing with Western culture?,” remarks Al-Hadid in a VICE interview. “I challenge people. I'm an Arab woman making sculptures. I wouldn't be making sculptures if I was living in Syria."

With 20 solo exhibitions so far, Al-Hadid’s art has been featured in galleries across the world, from Los Angeles, to New York and Vienna. In March of 2016, her latest installment debuted at New York University’s Abu Dhabi Art Gallery. Entitled Phantom Limb, it is her first show in the Middle East.

Phantom Limb is a phrase that refers to the “painful sensation of the presence of a limb that has been amputated.” Artists can create a sense of healing and reflection by using their work to reconcile with the past. Through a blend of traditional Renaissance art and modern sculpture, Diana Al-Hadid does just that. 

Read more stories about Arab immigrants and their descendants on the "Together We Came" main page.