Helen Zughaib

Lebanon

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@hzughaib
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Helen Zughaib was born in Beirut, Lebanon, living mostly in the Middle East and Europe before moving to the United States to study art at Syracuse University and settling in Washington, DC. Her paintings mostly depict life in the Middle East, using vibrant colors and references to pop artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Litchenstein to challenge Western perceptions and the negative stereotypes associated with Arabic countries. Drawing on her experience as a refugee, Helen also strives to create empathy with her work—inviting viewers to see the world through someone else’s eyes and walk in another’s shoes. The project we featured, “Syrian Migration Series,” contrasts bright, simplistic patterns with the much darker context of Syrian refugees being forced to flee their homes. Helen’s paintings have been widely exhibited in galleries and museums across the world, and feature in both private and public collections including the White House.

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I believe people respond to beauty, even if what I depict is difficult to talk about. Art can create emotions and ways of seeing from someone else’s perspective.