The nostalgic paintings of Etab Hreib are deeply imbued with memory – from images of plains, rivers, and valleys, to the blue sea she recalls from her childhood. Etab said in a recent interview with Akram Qatrib, “The colors of the Euphrates have pulsed through my fingers like blood – the Euphrates is in my genes.” After leaving Syria for the U.S., her art has taken new shape, influenced by yearning for home and the tragic loss of her son Mazen at the hands of the Jihadists in Syria. “I lived most of my life in Syria, and my residence here is not a holiday or vacation – a new language, a different system with different lights, a small house with a window that looks on unknown passers-by, weather that is foreign to me.” Going on, she says, “I no longer have a home. My paintings are my home. They will stretch from the Euphrates to the Chicago River, from one bank to the other. Painting is for me a world turned right-side-up – a purple window, a green tree, a house on a hill, a sea and a plain and a blue river. It’s a pure splash of color, without a philosophy or a technique.”
“From the Euphrates to the Chicago River, ‘My Paintings Are My Home’ for Syrian Artist Etab Hreib” by Akram Qatrib is scheduled to appear in the forthcoming Al Jadid, Vol. 23, No. 77, 2019.
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