MUNTHE ART MONDAY: YASMINE AMAL
Please introduce yourself and tell us about what you do.
My name is Yasmine Amal and I am a self-taught artist. I was born to Moroccan parents in Germany. Growing up in a conservative family I always tried to mediate between the realities of a third culture kid. I am happy that I can call Berlin my home as it makes this easier.
Art plays a crucial role in this process. Through my work I am reconciling the part of me that seeks to address my feminine energy and the one that wishes to connect with its ancestral roots, knowing that this uncovers aspects about my identity that I have to address along the way. Painting is thus a form of profound self-exploration for me. I feel inspired by North African art and marine life which I visualise in both colours and shapes.
Could you explain more about how being a woman has affected your career?
Through my art I am deep diving in my cultural and feminine spirituality, components of my identity that have too little space in my everyday life.
As a feminist artist my aim is to reach out to people beyond the bubble and to help us evolve as a collective society. It gives me a real sense of happiness and pride that my work appeals to both my community in Morocco and the experienced eye in the art scene.
I want my art to be a contribution to our communal pursuits and to de-bias the art scene. North African culture, especially Amazigh culture, has long been labelled as barbaric from which the colonial term “berber” is derived.
Can you name some other female (artist) that inspires you and explain why they do so?
I was first inspired by the colours used by Anbar El Mokri as they symbolize the vibrant art heritage of Morocco. I fell deeply in love with the composition and shapes of Petra Schott, Maja Długołęcka and Alice Neave for their ability to create beauty in chaos.
I am also inspired by all the women that would never call themselves an artist, yet they shape mundane things with so much grace - I think that is the purest form of art.
What has been the most challenging aspect of being a female artist?
A big challenge is to manage the expectations I have of myself and the perceived expectations from those around me. When I paint I try to put these aside and give space to my intuition, even though this does not come naturally.
I think being a female artist can be a strong pillar of the intersectional feminist movement. Demanding space and filling it without wanting to fulfil any expectations is so powerful.
I only started painting when I was financially secure due to my career as a political scientist. Before that, I would consider art and painting as inaccessible and luxury. Entry points are not visible and remain very exclusive. Being a female artist of colour is therefore a huge privilege. I am happy that I have such a supporting circle that has helped me to keep my creativity flourishing.
What would you like people to notice in your artwork?
We live in a rapidly developing world where stagnation is to be avoided. I hope that my art can inspire people to linger as they engage with the layers and forms. My paintings are very dramatic and dynamic -products from pent-up creativity- yet they have a soothing and absorbing effect on me and I hope they do so as well on observers. Some of them will guide you, others will make you get lost in details.
Yasmine is wearing our JAFFIE knit, JELODA skirt and VARUN dress.