Ryah Massarweh

I am a 22-year-old graduate from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with an emphasis in Studio Arts. During my junior year of college I studied abroad in Florence, Italy for one year at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze. Being immersed in a city such as Florence, my perspective on art truly transformed. My work started to move forward from the perfect details and embraced the fluidity that painting provides.

During my study abroad experience I received a tumultuous education. Attending a school that only offered Italian spoken courses pushed me to adapt to tough situations in order to succeed. My ambition to experience the education and artistic opportunities offered at the Accademia was overpowering. I passed the entrance exams, studied at one of the finest art schools in Italy and finished the year with honors.

I was humbled by the artistic excellence of my peers and the stark honesty of Italian professors. These individuals pushed me to allow flexibility into my work, rather than emphasizing the precision of realistic painting. They inspired me to think beyond the canvas and to take into account the history I was immersed in. I saw the backbone of world-renowned museums such as The Uffizi, observed the wonders of Botticelli’s La Primavera closer than the public is allowed, and I witnessed Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings under construction in restoration laboratories. It is needless to say that returning to California after this endeavor has granted me with an even greater artistic appetite and appreciation.

Today, my art confronts sexuality, femininity, and self-love. I have always been fascinated my women. They are such diverse and mystical creatures that have been on the forefront of the media, in both positive and negative contexts. I believe that women deserve praise for the injustice received throughout history and the conflicts they face today. Growing up in an Arabic household, I saw firsthand the results of a patriarchal society. I, myself, faced obstacles with the double standard between men and women and continue to fight to make my voice heard. I believe it is imperative to shed light on this topic and to acknowledge the influence and dignity that women emanate on a daily basis.

I take inspiration from the feminist movement in addition to various books, poems and people that I hold close to my heart. I have fallen in love with watercolors and the ability to work with the painting, rather than attempt to control it. Each work is an expression of the human, bursting with vibrant colors and bringing souls together. I strive to put forth the emotion that some people may not be able to verbalize. I do not intend to define each piece to my audience, but to let the viewer create their own story, their own connection and their own definition, regardless of the construction I have made for myself.

Today, I continue to enter into a variety of exhibitions, galleries, and projects and am currently represented by Jessica Amaya. I am also waiting to hear back from universities as I completed applications for a Master of Fine Arts education with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing.

Works by Ryah Massarweh

Showing all 2 results