"The women I paint are confident strong women that I strive to be. Sometimes tough and daring, sometimes shy and determined, they represent what captivates me in other women; the qualities I admire, and strengths that I strive to gain."
––Sally K, Painter
Lebanese artist Sally Khoury (Sally K) paints the female gaze in vivid color. Sometimes pointed, sometimes obscured, this gaze is amplified by her large-scale abstract-expressionist style. Flowers, cupcakes, candy, and geometric shapes envelop the face, seeming to float from and around the figure. Expressed in vibrant colors, the female portrait becomes transcendent, both political and playful. Taking inspiration from fashion, pop culture, and photography, Khoury blends realistic and abstract elements to communicate the totality of the female form, which is often both mischievous and serious, sensual and aloof.
Khoury was born in Ohio, far from the war her parents left behind in Lebanon. Shortly after her birth, her family moved to Saudi Arabia, where she stayed until she was 14. Khoury attended high school and college in Beirut, where she received a BA in Fine Art from the Lebanese American University. She cites artists Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Gustav Klimt as being particularly inspiring to her work. Khoury works in layers, using dense brushstrokes to add texture and abstraction to the figure’s hair. She has always been drawn to painting women––creating a multi-dimensional gaze is her personal challenge.
Khoury has exhibited in both group and solo shows in Beirut, Dubai, Italy, and the USA. Her paintings can be found in the private collections of American pop stars Jesse McCartney and Kelly Clarkson. Khoury currently lives and works with her husband and children in Qatar.