Photo Gallery: Lalla Essaydi’s Harem Girls

The large-scale photographs in Lalla Essaydi’s most recent series, Harem, examine the complex reality of female identity in the Muslim world by coupling Islamic calligraphy (applied by hand with henna) and Orientalist imagery from the Western painting tradition in her work. The artist, who grew up in Morocco, lived in Saudi Arabia for many years and now lives in New York City. “In my art, I wish to present myself through multiple lenses — as artist, as Moroccan, as Saudi, as traditionalist, as Liberal, as Muslim. In short, I invite the viewer to resist stereotypes,” she has said. Click through to check out some of her photographs, which are on view at New York’s Edwynn Houk Gallery through January 15th.

Lalla Essaydi, LFM Revisited #4, 2010