Soraya Chemaly “Red Trio”
Soraya Chemaly is a self taught artist from the Bahamian islands. Known for her contemporary depictions of florals with bright contrasting backgrounds, Soraya Chemaly says, “My paintings have been heavily influenced by my childhood in the Bahamas, where I was regularly exposed to Haitian and Caribbean art.” Soraya Chemaly continues, “The art of Haiti in particular is infused with flowers and plants that take on a life of their own and often representing in the primitive style, people, gestures, moods and symbols.” These influences have formed Soraya Chemaly’s work and have led her to create her own style of oil paintings. The oversized flowers dominant in most paintings by Soraya Chemaly seem to be presented to the viewer as a joyful gift from the artist.
In Red Trio, a painting of three red gerbera daisies, Soraya Chemaly shows us the flowers at a stage just past perfection. To honor the blooms by capturing them at an imperfect stage, Soraya Chemaly documents an often overlooked part of the daisies’ lifecycle. The red petals Soraya Chemaly paints in Red Trio, are just beginning to wilt and reveal ruffled edges and darkening tips. However flawed the flower may appear; somehow Soraya Chemaly manages to deliver a joyful scene. Like the Haitian paintings that informs the paintings of Soraya Chemaly, these crimson daisies seem to represent a trio of three laughing people, who may have lines alongside their mouths and crinkles on their foreheads, but they are beautiful because they enjoy. The way the thick stems bend with the weight of the blooms gives the illusion of movement in the painting by Soraya Chemaly.
Soraya Chemaly may not be formally trained, but when viewing her oil paintings, the viewer understands that this unconventional course, in comparison to today’s artists, gives Soraya Chemaly the unique advantage of not adhering to any rules. The freedom to work in Soraya Chemaly’s own definite style affords her an edge that many artists never develop. This advantage is apparent in the sun drenched, larger-than-life florals that Soraya Chemaly captures with such ease.