by Mabel Roy
  • 3 minute read
  • June 17, 2020
4 Quarantine-Inspired Artworks By Regional Artists You Need To See Right Now

In this time of uncertainty, many of us have turned towards art as an outlet.  Since we find solace in creative pursuit, we’re bringing to you our edit of five regional artists whose quarantine-inspired works will help lift your spirits.

Maysaloun Faraj

Raised between the USA and Baghdad, Maysaloun Faraj is a painter, sculptor and ceramist, currently living and working in London. Her works attempt to bridge the gap between the East and West, drawn from her mixed cultural heritage.

In this quarantine series, Maysaloun has created still life artworks, featuring every part of her home from various perspectives, as she stayed indoors during what she refers to as “surreal times” in an Instagram post. “The last time I did still life was 45 years ago studying architecture. Surprisingly, I’m finding tremendous satisfaction in this departure. I like to think of it as a positive outcome of these challenging times,” she added.

Her works have been showcased as a part of public collections at institutions, such as the British Museum, Rotterdam Wereld Museum, National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington DC, Jordan National Museum in Amman, and the UAE’s Barjeel Art Foundation in the UAE.

Qinza Najm

Pakistani-American Qinza Najm is an interdisciplinary artist, whose work surveys gendered violence and female subjectivity.  Originally trained as a psychologist, she employs the use of performance, video, painting and other mediums to create empathy and understanding between cultures and societies.

Her mixed-media work ‘Dammit Social Distancing’ reflects on the struggles associated with what has been termed ‘the new normal’. “Hands that are present in my new work attract and repel, as we both long for connection, yet fear contact. My work has embraced a lexicon of connection, but through distance,” she wrote on Instagram.

Born and raised in Lahore, Pakistan, Qinza pursued her studies in fine arts at the UK’s Bath University and The Art Students League of New York.  Her creations have been exhibited internationally  at the Queens Museum in NYC and Christie’s in Dubai, among other institutes. She currently resides and works in New York.

Zakaria Ramhani

Born in 1983 in Tangier, Morocco, Zakaria was introduced to painting very early in his father’s studio. After obtaining his art plastic diploma, he worked as an art teacher in Morocco, but later fully devoted himself to art. In 2010, he was listed by Artprice among the top ten artists aged under 30, who had achieved the highest auction results in the world.

“For an artist who works from his studio, I think the quarantine is quite similar to my everyday life,” Zakaria commented in an interview with “Psychologically, I found myself in a test in which I shall really discover if, without any outside activities, I could still feel happy. The result is that I’ve been spending more time than before on my paintings, restarted working on my poetry texts, taking some online guitar lessons and even felt in love with some plants.”

Zakaria’s works have been featured in various art publications and newspapers including the New York Times and CNN. He has also exhibited internationally at  the Arab World Institut of Paris, the Bahrain National Museum and Barbican Centre of London. He appears regularly in auctions at organizations, such as Christie’s Dubai.

Helen Zughaib

Helen Zughaib was born in Beirut, Lebanon, living mostly in the Middle East and Europe before coming to the United States to study art at Syracuse University. Her primary medium is gouache and ink on board and canvas. More recently, she has worked with wood, shoes and cloth, and mixed media installations.


Her work has been widely exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States, Europe and Lebanon. In her interview to the, she contemplates on the works she has created during these unprecedented times. “I find myself facing these dualities, at once, feeling suffocated by the lockdown, as well as the freedom to paint uninterrupted. A precious gift of time. And I remind myself I have much to be thankful for.”

Cover image courtesy: @emergeeast

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