Starstruck Lovers

Dallas-based contemporary artist Marian Mekhail is proud to announce MAKTUB: IT IS WRITTEN, a solo exhibition of mixed media paintings, opening on Saturday, November 13th, 2021 at The Whiskey Spot. For her latest body of work, the artist pays tribute to own Egyptian heritage, while subverting ancient mythology and symbolism to suit a modern feminist gaze.

Reflecting on the current sociopolitical moment, the fourth-wave feminist movement, and society's re-examination of gender roles, Mekhail reimagines the stories from Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist with Egyptian gods and goddesses filling in for the novel's characters, and bucking patriarchal trends of the past, she casts women as the main protagonists in her recontextualized narratives.

The painting "Omens" depicts Isis the goddess of life and healing, marching forward past a flock of birds scattered across the horizon. Cryptically numbered, they represent omens, or signs, human beings encounter through the course of one’s lifetime.

"Damsel in Distress" shows goddess of love and fertility Hathor cradling a vulnerable man in her arms, mirroring the Virgin Mary's embrace of Jesus after his crucifixion. Here, Mekhail contemplates the value a strong woman can bring to a man's life.

"Starstruck Lovers" is a gender-swapped retelling of Ramses' encounter with Hathor in the afterlife, after a lifetime of separation despite having an undeniable connection with one another. While she could have opted to remain in current life with Ramses, the goddess chose to wait for him in the afterlife, so that he may successfully fulfill his mission as Pharaoh. Mekhail states that she is in fact Pharaoh Ramses in this image, fulfilling her purpose as an artist in this lifetime, and her true love is waiting for her in the afterlife.

In the addition to the original works exhibited, official Marian Mekhail prints and branded merchandise will be available for purchase. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to Coptic Orphans, an organization whose mission is to unlock the God-given potential in the most vulnerable children in Egypt, and throughout Africa, through the power of education.

Starting on November 14th, 2021, private showings for MAKTUB: IT IS WRITTEN will be by appointment only. Those attending the opening reception on November 13th should RSVP in advance here.

Marian Mekhail is a contemporary artist whose signature works explore topics surrounding womanhood as well as the unique experiences of black and brown people. In 2019, Mekhail held her first solo exhibition “Queendom”, which had over 250 attendees and raised over $2,000 for the Women’s Center of Ft. Worth. She was also commissioned by Dallas Theater Center to create an interactive mural for its Public Works Theater at the Wyly Theater production of "As You Like It" by William Shakespeare. In 2021, she was commissioned by President Michael Sorrell of Paul Quinn College to create a custom crushed glass portrait of prominent Dallas businessman and philanthropist Mr. Trammell S. Crow.

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