Marwa Najjar is a Palestinian artist known for her haunting portraits and delicate gold and silver leaf work. With a muted, autumnal color scheme, Najjar’s works focus on women and children, and the effect that war, conflict and instability have on them – both internally and externally. The female form is portrayed as something that is simultaneously fragile, spun as delicately as gossamer, and robust, able to withstand unspeakable hardships.
Najjar graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from An-Najah University in Nablus, Palestine and she returned there the following year to teach. She draws inspiration from the works of Gustav Klimt and Byzantine religious iconography of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. This can especially be seen in her use of gold and silver leaf. This juxtaposition of grandeur with somber portraiture gives her work a surreal air.
She is no slave to realism- rather, she is attracted by what she describes as the “bizarre.”
In 2006, Najjar painted icons for the walls and domes of Saint Maria Cathedral in Nablus. She has collaborated with various NGOs in Jordan and Palestine, including Save the Children and the Palestinian Medical Relief Society. She currently lives and works in Amman.