Beirut-based designer Najla El Zein’s first solo exhibition at Friedman Benda, New York, is titled ‘Transition’, and is the amalgamation of three series’ together: ‘Distortion’, ‘Fragmented Pillar’ and ‘Seduction’.
The design objects in each are the embodiment of El Zein’s journey of transitory experience and self-discovery: the “experience as a woman, as an artist, as a lover, as a mother”, she explains. “I had to figure out certain things about me, and my way to figure it out was to express it not with words, but with objects”. ‘Distortion’, is a series of two concrete benches with an anthropomorphic form mimicking a pregnant body. “It’s also about the distortion of reality and the different feelings that one can feel within that context”, explains El Zein. The second series, ‘Fragmented Pillar’, includes white sculptures in different sizes and forms, inspired by the metaphorical foundations that hold together the emotional self. Lastly, ‘Seduction’ depicts the connection between two beings, through sets of objects bound together in different abstract forms. “This is where you start understanding there is a real connection and symbiosis of shapes”, concludes El Zein.