If there’s one thing to note about Deya’s abstract paintings, it is that, in them, there are a whole lot of blacks and a whole lot of whites. The reason for this is because the two shades are meant to denote a contrast; that is, the effect achieved when opposite elements are arranged together to form one unified whole.
Contrast is among the key characteristics of art. It can be used to create a narrative, stir various emotions or merely to emphasize a point. In her works, Deya seems to resort to contrast quite frequently to call attention to some deeper meaning beyond the confines of her paintings. But what could it be?
The answer, possibly, may lie not so much in what is visibly seen by the naked eye, but in what we can infer. To the uninitiated, black and white paintings, and abstract ones for that matter, may not seem to possess any considerable subject matter: the two shades alone invariably leads to monotony; that is, until one looks a little more closely and sees beyond the lines. In Deya’s paintings, we see barely perceptible tinges of polychrome hues stippled ever so lightly amidst the shades of black and white. While this detail might seem insignificant, it might just be crucial to understanding where Deya might be coming from when viewing the pieces featured in this entry.
To her credit, she doesn’t make it harder for anyone to infer the meaning of her works by keeping it a secret. She does reveal that the thrust of her work is to shed light on the complexities of experience; if not in art, then in the everyday realities that she and other people face. She seems to subscribe to the old adage which states that life isn’t black or white. In her own words, she explains that this applies to the choices that she makes, as well as in trying to break out of her comfort zone. Indeed, while we sometimes prefer that life be as simple as black or white, she seems to suggest that we wouldn’t really be living it if we didn’t explore the many shades in between.
That might just be the point of all of her works – we have to learn to break out of our shell and to make hard choices. Yes, life is not black or white, as Deya suggests through the subliminal message of her paintings. But neither is art. As Deya would have it, it is possible to create meaning out of things that are not only glaringly unlike each other, but also seemingly unimportant. Such is the power of contrast.
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