Young artist favors ‘free self-expression’

young artists
Areej Salameh, 24, who describes herself as a ‘free artist’, is seen painting a portrait in this undated photo. (Photo: Handout from Areej Salameh)
AMMAN — Art should not be “studied”, Areej Salameh, 24, believes, rather it should be a free expression of one’s self, unbound by rules.

“There should be no laws that bind you to use specific colors together or use a specific structure to draw. If there is one thing I learned is that art cannot be taught,” the young artist told Jordan News in a recent interview.اضافة اعلان

The young artist’s work explores heritage, culture, and women, including original drawings as well as parodies of famous artists’ paintings, infused with local heritage, such as, “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and “Mona Lisa”, which she recreates with models dressed in traditional Jordanian outfits, or relocates the painting to a setting from her own cultural background.

“When we talk about art, the first thing to come to my mind is women. To me, art and beauty are women,” Salameh, a graduate of literature and arts, says.

Salameh describes herself as a “free artist”, working with portraits, mainly oil paintings, and sometimes mural drawings, but without any formal art education or courses. She believes she was “born with an instinct to draw.”

As a day job, Salameh works as a managing assistant at the School of Travel.

People at her workplace have demonstrated a lot of support to her passion for art, by allocating a mural for her to display her work, as well as turning to her when any illustration work is needed.

“Even though I am an artist, I believe that here in Jordan you must explore your talents in other fields as well,” She told Jordan News. “My work as a managing assistant did not really have anything to do with art, but I chose to explore different potentials in the work field.”

Although the young artist would like to enter the art gallery scene, she found that the art scene in Jordan is too restricted for her liking, and would constitute a barrier in her path, as she does not follow a certain art school or form.

Instead, Salameh chose a different route to display her work, sharing her favorite pieces on her social media platforms.

Salameh hopes that artists would be more encouraged to expand their knowledge on the “philosophy of art”, by reading, exploring the world of psychology, and recommends that they “keep an open mind on many other aspects that can assist them in making their work unique, and self-reflective.”

She believes that this strategy is more important to focus on than just following the usual rules, like focusing on the structure, colors, and lighting, etc.