Award-winning artist Kristel Bechara has recently launched two collections celebrating women and feminism. The collections entitled ASK A WOMAN and INAMORATA are odes to the women who inspire the artist, which she expresses through her signature patterns and vibrant colours. The artist observes the lives of different women and illustrates them through her art form to highlight her Beauty in Diversity mantra. The collections celebrate famous women as well as women realized by the artist.
ASK A WOMAN portrays women from all walks of life and is inspired by a woman’s strengths, weaknesses, wit, laughter, joys and her tears.
INAMORATA pays tribute to exceptional women from history and from modern times, revelling in their beauty, boldness, and refusal to conform to displaced norms.
Having created the revolutionary method of photographic imagery with oil, acrylic and giclée printmaking mediums to depict emotion, each of Kristel Bechara’s pieces has a has a story and speaks a thousand words.
Sophia Loren: “I’d rather eat pasta and drink wine than be a size zero.”
This oeuvre represents a celebration of the freedom, a disassociation from the surreal beauty norms set by the fake fashion magazines. Everlasting beauty is happiness derived from being comfortable with yourself. Real beauty has no labels.
“READ My Lips” is a representation of the intelligent woman’s call to be listened to carefully, not just watched talking. “Sois belle et tais-toi” (Sit down, and look pretty!) – is dead!
In this painting the centre point of attraction is an exotic butterfly. This exquisite creature was once a humble caterpillar. Its presence in the painting serves as a testament of change and beautiful transformation.
The way women achieved a 1960’s hair style was through suffering. They slept in these can sized rollers, every night! Can you believe they did that and got used to it?! Perhaps it is a testament to the notion that you can get used to anything to achieve your objective.
An expression of the Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love, By Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D.
- Become mindful.
- Act on what you need rather than what you want.
- Practice good self-care.
- Set boundaries.
- Protect yourself.
- Forgive yourself.
- Live intentionally.
Inspired by the quote: “In the future, there will be no female leaders. There will just be leaders.” by Sheryl Sandberg, the piece exudes feminism and the quest for equality.
“ART GAP” This piece was commissioned by Standard Chartered to raise awareness on gender pay inequality. The artist was inspired to create a painting covering only 52.4% of the canvas representing the amount female artists are paid versus men. It was featured in an exhibition by Standard Chartered to raise awareness and to help drive change. Today “She is King” hangs in Standard Chartered’s London headquarters.
“All I really want is to be wonderful. People in this town, they, they can be so cruel! I live my life inside a dream Only waking when I sleep. I would sell my sorry soul if I could have it all” “State of Dreaming” – An expression of a poem inspired by Marilyn Monroe, Marina and the Diamonds.
Ignorance is bliss, while innocence is insanity.
Here the artist delves into women’s psyches and illustrates moments in their lives where they have needed to stroke egos, act shocked or astonished all while being quite indifferent or underwhelmed.
This painting is a tribute to Audrey Hepburn. Stunningly beautiful, Audrey Hepburn was also very talented. She was the first actress to win a Golden Globe, an Academy Award and a BAFTA for a single performance. She was also a trained ballet dancer, and could speak numerous languages including English, French, German, Dutch, Italian and Spanish.
“My look is attainable… Women can look like Audrey Hepburn by flipping out their hair, buying the large glasses and the little sleeveless dresses.” Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn’s influence as a beauty style icon continues today. In recent years she was named the “most beautiful woman of all time”, “most beautiful woman of the 20th century” and voted “the most stylish Brit of all time”.
She successfully rose to stardom by embodying a new alternative feminine ideal that appealed more to women than to men (in comparison to the then “beauty standard” set by curvy and more sexual Grace Kelly and Elizabeth Taylor.
…And God Created Woman. French screen goddess Brigitte Bardot wasn’t merely a muse; she was also a trendsetter. She popularized the bikini, the so-called “Bardot neckline.” As a former ballet dancer, she once asked designer Rose Repetto to make shoes as light as her dance slippers. Voilà: the everyday ballerina flat was born.
Madonna has made a career as well as an art out of reinventing herself, as a rock diva, stage and screen star, video vixen, fashion icon and a cultural phenomenon. Madonna is labelled by international authors as the greatest woman in music, as well as the most influential and iconic female recording artist of all time.
The artist take on the “Queen of Pop”, showing her in her most iconic look and posture. “No matter who you are, no matter what you did, no matter where you’ve come from, you can always change, and become a better version of yourself.” – Madonna
Sherihan is a legendary icon. She is a formidable actress, singer and dancer (lawyer and mother too). Sherihan is famous for her beauty and playful style, her acting, both on stage and on the silver screen, and her memorable song and dance performances in Fawazeer on Egyptian TV. She was also known for her unique and eye-catching fashion choices. Even when she wasn’t performing, she never failed to amuse with her bold style. Yet, the all-time favourite Sherihan looks have to be those from her performances in Fawazeer, where she got to dress in every costume imaginable, from mermaid to pharaoh, and often in glittery, sequined gowns and ostentatious accessories. She wore it all with poise”.
Curves were the beauty standard until Twiggy came on the scene; Four years after Marilyn Monroe’s death in 1962, a British model named Twiggy set the new desirable and fashionable look that brought her right into the decade’s social revolution alongside the Beatles and pop art. Her look has not been challenged in almost forty years. But before Twiggy conquered London and changed fashion forever, the teen with huge eyes, a boyish bob and long legs craved the glamour and curves of a different icon. “Whether you’re thin, fat, small, dark, blond, redhead, you wanna be something else. I wanted a fairy godmother to make me look like Marilyn Monroe.”- Twiggy
Marilyn Monroe was extremely strategic about what she wore. Great intelligence and thought went into the creation of her iconic look. Platinum blonde hair, an inviting red pout and killer dresses to accentuate her perfect hourglass figure. Monroe dressed for men.
This oeuvre is a tribute to the American actress of motion pictures and television, Doris Margaret Kenyon. She was very popular during the silent-era films and made a smooth transition to sound films.
Fairuz is commonly known as “Ambassador to the Stars”, “the Moon’s Neighbour” and the “Jewel of Lebanon”. Fairuz is the Arab world’s most famous and most listened-to singer. For decades, almost all radio stations in the Arab world have been starting their morning broadcast with a Fairuz song. Fairuz is a living icon and remains the supreme Diva of Lebanon. Her emergence as a singer paralleled Lebanon’s transformation from a backwater to the vibrant financial and cultural heart of the Arab world.
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits. Her art expressed pain, passion and bold vibrant vitality. She is celebrated in Mexico for her attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and around the world of feminists for her depiction of the female experience and form.
This is the artist’s interpretation of Frida’s portrait covered in patterns derived from the art of the Austrian Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt. In this series, tribute is paid to the masters who have shaped the Art for future artists.