Dena Matar

Dena Matar lives and works in Gaza, where she received a degree in Fine Art and Education from Al Aqsa University. Her dynamic use of color and line offers an optimistic and hopeful view of life in Gaza, lending a psychological dimension to her paintings, rather than representing a region crippled by Israeli incursions and blockades.  Despite her young age and the profound challenges of living under siege, she has made a vital contribution to artistic production in Gaza through her paintings and by acting as a mentor for artists. She is a member of the ELTIQA artist collective in Gaza City and has participated in several local exhibitions and workshops in Gaza in cooperation with A.M. Qattan Foundation, the French Cultural Centre, and other institutions. Matar’s unique style, which critics have likened to the colorful and unique compositions of Juan Miro and Pablo Picasso, has gained her international recognition.  Her work has been exhibited in Switzerland, Geneva, France, and the Mosaic Rooms in London as part of their ‘Occupied Space’ exhibition in 2008.  In 2012, she was selected to participate in the artistic residence in Paris, Cité Internationale des Arts.