Gallery Girl meets Hayv Kahraman, Vincent Cy Chen, Raphael Khouri and Rose Issa

For those of you that don’t know, I’ve been on the road for the past month, holidaying in Beirut and running workshops at Darat Al Funun in Amman. And, while my adventures have been a huge amount of fun, it’s been a little difficult to keep up to date with writing exhibition reviews. In the meanwhile however, I have had a number of pieces published in other publications, highlights of which you can read here!

Hayv Hayv Kahraman, “Not Quite Human 1” (2019), oil on linen, 60 1/4 x 90 3/8 x 2 1/8 inches (all images courtesy of the artist)

For Hyperallergic, I spoke to Hayv Kahraman about her new body of work on show at Jack Shainman in New York. We spoke about how her new paintings – of women in contorted positions – compel her audience to acknowledge the potential pleasure of viewing pain.


Photograph by Bettina Frenzel

For My.Kali I interviewed Raphael Khouri about her play She He Me. We talked about the importance of addressing sexuality and issues of LGBT identity in the Arab world, and theatre’s potential role in contributing to the understanding of the issue. The piece is also readable in Arabic.


Rose Issa by Sueraya Shaheen

Meanwhile, the day before I left on my mega-trip, I sat down with curator and publisher Rose Issa for Hyperallergic to speak about her new exhibition at the Middle East Institute Gallery in Washington, as well as her career, the shifting infrastructure for artists in the MENA region, and the need to archive. Accompanied by this stunning portrait from Sueraya Shaheen.



And, finally, for Honey Pump I wrote about the queer utopian work of Vincent CY Chen, who explores the tension between shame and desire in the exotic. The gallery will be showing his work at Satellite Art Show between 3 and 6 October.

Posted by

Lizzy Vartanian Collier is a London-based writer and curator. She is the founder of Gallery Girl - a London-based curatorial platform and website dedicated to modern and contemporary art from across the globe. Her work is primarily focused on supporting emerging female artists from the Middle East and the Caucasus. She has written for Canvas Magazine, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Ibraaz, Jdeed Magazine, Suitcase and Vice Arabia among other publications. Her exhibitions in London and Armenia have been featured in Vogue Arabia, The Art Newspaper, The Art Gorgeous and numerous other news outlets. Gallery Girl has also spoken in the UK, UAE and Belgium about the contemporary art scene in the MENA region, and is planning further events in London and Amman.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s