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a portrait of Diana Al-Hadid printed in Vogue magazine

Art Basel Miami opened its 15th anniversary edition today. The prominent art fair at the Miami Beach Convention Center plays host to a bevy of paintings, drawings, sculptures, installations, photographs and films created by more than 4000 artists from all over the world. Among the standout names is Syrian-American artist Diana Al-Hadid, who will be showcasing at the Marianne Boesky Gallery booth.

Just off the heels of her first major solo show in the Middle East, “Phantom Limb” at NYU Abu Dhabi’s Art Gallery, Al-Hadid returns to South Beach with her theatrical, head-turning pieces. “I’m excited to have my work at the Art Basel Miami Beach art fair again,” the Brooklyn-based artist, who was born in Aleppo and raised in Canton, Ohio, tells Vogue Arabia. “I think Marianne [Boesky] will have a knock-out booth this year.”

The acclaimed artist is known for her large-scale sculptures, installations and abstract imagery that appear to be decomposing, as well as wall structures that resemble webs of dripping decay. Through the lens of historical references, including the Renaissance and other classical imagery, Al-Hadid’s signature technique comes to life through systematic layering and controlled dripping, by way of materials such as plaster, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, wood and steel– a process she’s been developing for over 10 years.  As for inspiration, Al-Hadid’s pieces are influenced by myriads of sources: “Traveling, meeting people, art, how much coffee I’ve had, the weather, a movie, music–everything has an impact on my work. ”

The show reveals an oeuvre of colorful compositions and dramatic pieces that looks as if they are melting off the wall. Speaking about her process, Al-Hadid muses, “My drawings are a way for me to turn on a different part of my brain; a much more meditative process. I am constantly making marks and not usually pulling away to make conscious decisions. I let my hands do the thinking."