The subject matter of Lalla Essaydi's islamic women portraits have been influenced by her past growing up in Morocco. Even though the artist's education have been outside of the country, her background and early years living in a traditional Islamic culture has fundamentally shaped her and her artwork.
This mixed media project is called 'Harem,' and is a combination of the artist's photography and painting. What I really like about the work is the honesty in the portrayal of the women. She doesn't emphasize their sexuality or exhibit them in a way that is visually ideal but rather, in a way that demonstrates fear, confusion and isolation.
The artist painted over the exposed skin with islamic calligraphy, which mixed with the calligraphic background, look stunning and captivating.