Egyptian artist Doaa Aladdin is spreading tolerance and compassion through her abstract expressionism.
Art is defined as the expression of human creativity and imagination that achieves its beauty through emotional power. While there is a variety of media in which artists find their solace, their end goals are usually one; spreading a message through self expression. For Doaa Aladdin, it was in painting that she found herself. Aiming to share her notion of universal truths, Aladdin started a movement - with her hashtag #DoYouSpeakArt - that she hopes will breed a renewed sense of tolerance and acceptance among her natives and the world.
"My hashtag is intended to raise awareness. Art is an unspoken language. My tagline is 'Where every stroke narrates a different story'. It's a metaphor implying that every single individual has a different story and the least we can do is accept them,” explains Aladdin of her message.
Adding the stories behind each painting in the form of a poem, the abstract expressionist hopes to change the world through her work. Her chosen painting technique is one that was born in New York in the 1940s and is defined by an intensity of emotion, self expression and universal themes. Abstract Expressionism was bred out of an urgency to express individual freedom.
“I hope people can ‘feel’ through my paintings. The message behind the paintings is for people to be fearless and proud of their scars rather than ashamed. I hope for them to read through the paintings and know they're not alone. That being said, each person interprets things differently and the same applies to art. So to make sure my paintings are more relatable, I added the story behind each painting. When someone buys one of my paintings, they get the painting and the story with it," explains the passionate young woman.
The message behind the paintings is for people to be fearless and proud of their scars rather than ashamed.
Describing herself as having a lot of self-restraint, Aladdin grew up sketching and painting as an alternative to communicating verbally; her way of expressing the words that refused to materialise. While the talented graphic designer had been painting for years, it wasn’t until a few defining moments that she decided to throw out all her insecurities, take a leap of faith and showcase her emotions through canvas and to an audience.
"One of the pushes came in the form of an art therapy workshop I took. So, art therapy is usually used for anyone who has a chronic mental disorder and it’s been proven to be more effective than any other therapy,” says Aladdin. “So take schizophrenics for example, art creates the bridge between their conscious and their subconscious. Through painting, they manage to distinguish between what they think they hear or see and what is actually there.”
Aladdin's art is not only evocative but boasts of explosive colours amidst darker shades. Weaving her story through the abstract and beautifully intertwined strokes of a brush, the painter is adamant on moulding a mentality of mutual understanding and compassion. She intends to raise awareness about art as a movement and as the tool that aided her in the struggles she faced in her life. In doing so, she hopes to break barriers and spread compassion.
"My work is all about reflection. I want to evoke humanity – that is encouraging a sense of kindness and compassion towards each other. Through my paintings, I hope to spread tolerance," adds the graphic designer.
The above work - dubbed All Guards Down - is one of Aladdin's masterpieces, check out the poem that goes with it,
All Guards Down
With a heart,
Fueled up: with love
With infinite Thoughts.
A scarred, side;
Of a person,
Inside a reflection,
And tons of –
Aiming for fullness,
In: a hollow—
With a heart fueled up:
To ease: complexions
She ain’t delusional –
With a heart fueled up:
Rebellious, towards: Rejection.
Inhabiting, the few; dreams
of satisfying – Misperception
Living with emotional pretense,
To fill into the holes of emptiness, settling, for being:
Longing, for few –
Aching: for them to take over.
Then, what she feels is being alive, when she has been –
Saddening it is,
What is sadder; is the – passiveness.
The satisfaction behind -- that definite-- “maybe”
Contradicts: with the river of rejections.
Those few moments of hope,
Turn her scars into – Art.
She finds herself breathing;
She hears her own heart.
Tries keeping it under control;
Her heart keeps skipping beats
Pounding for a moment,
Where she gets: Too close.
And falls into the perfect fit,
Of those: warm arms.
Communing all her thoughts,
With no barriers at all
Revealing – Who she really is.
And letting, all, guards –Down.