I remember having an argument with a friend whether art should only represent something beautiful, glorifying, love spreading … etc or represent reality’s all aspects including it’s ugly side. She strongly believes artists should give positive vibes and even if they want to cascade voilence, it should be easied and less-evocative. I totally disagree!
During my preparations to travel to Lebanon last July to attend Beirut Art Fair (BAF), Ayyam Gallery notified with participating artists in their booth at (BAF) and one of the artworks that caught my eyes was a face of a rageous wolf, eyes filled with hate and aggression, the piece was done oil paints on canvas by Lebanese artist Inaya Fanis Hodeib. I decided it is “A-Must-See” artwork when I visit (BAF) because it trigged many questions and set high exceptations especially that it seemed a large figurative painting and any flaw can show immediatly. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed when I saw it along another aggresive one.
Born in 1983 in Lebanon, Inaya Fanis Hodeib is an emerging painter and digital artist whose work and exceptional talent bridges the gaps between fantasy and realism, will debut her proficiency with two large-scale oil on canvas works, ‘Thirteenth Step’ and ‘One Bullet at a Time’. Finely executed aggressive canines confront the viewer and their rendering will have viewers lingering over Hodeib’s superb command of technique. – Ayyam Gallery
Two large paintings, 200 x 185 cm, hanged next to each other; first is a wolf and second a dog as I said painted with oil on canvas. Both figures are aggressive, furious and ready to attack, the open mouth dog is titled “One Bullet at a Time” while the black wolf is “Thirteenth Step”.
Don’t underestimate these two works as Inaya smartly utilizes symbolisim to cascade the battle of good and bad from reality. The dog in “One Bullet at a Time” represents any person defending his self, beloved ones, a cause; this person would go the extreme points to protect who he love and what he believes in, representing courage, intrepidity and loyalty.
On the other hand the wolf in “Thirteenth Step” cascades hate, envy, evil and most important betrayal which we least expect from friends, family and colleagues. Taking into consideration the political and secuirty situation in the Middle East, these two works have significant meanings in portraying the current scene.
“I paint dogs and wolves for two very different reason.” Inaya told Al Mahha …
“When I paint a dog, it is like an allegory for (bravery) dogs are faithful and very brave hearted, whereas wolves even though they live in a pack they still leave their wounded behind and hunt the weakest in a heard. those two traits are very very much present in human beings, and we are seeing this being manifested in all the crappy wars going on, where some people have the courage and heart of a dog attacking a bear all on it’s own to protect whom it loves, and other’s act like wolves skulking in the dark waiting for the right moment to attack for the benifit of it’s own survival.
The works are all very political, they were portraits of courage and back stabbing.”
Inaya Fanis Hodib
Al Mahha On “One Bullet at a Time” / “Thirteenth Step”
What is eye catching about Inaya’s artwork is the amount of efforts to get it done, whether it is the heavy ideas of politics, social, religion or personal daily issues; or the technique she choose to use to produce such piece. It is well known that working with oil paints require a lot of paitience and accuracy to get excellent results, or flaws and weakness in painting will be exposed immediatly.
Another thing makes Inaya’s work remarkble is mastering the art of figurative painting well known in the West and the having a deep rooted sence of humanity issues especially that she comes from one of the notorious insecure regions in the world. In every artwork done by Inaya, you hold a strong technique & a marvilous deep thought.