Behind the Cloud by Hagop Belian

ART TODAY 07.09.17: “Behind the Cloud” by Hagop Belian — This week, Out of the Cracks–Hagop’s Aesthetic Commentary on Female Muslim Marginalization

Behind the Cloud

Behind the Cloud is a guardian spirit. She holds space for healing and change and inspires clear vision and creativity. The dragonfly that sits across her eyes represents the ability to shift perspective by lifting the veil of illusion.

medium: Mixed-media collage, wheatpaste, Sumi ink on plaster, burlap and wood

One of Hagop’s “Aristocrats” paintings is a woman wearing a draping headscarf and an embroidered blouse. Her features are pretty and delicate, with small petal lips and thin brows. But this is not just a depiction of a Middle Eastern woman—a large dragonfly with its wings spread obstructs the view of most of her face. “Metaphysically, the dragonfly represents the breaking of an illusion, and the fact that it’s over her eyes [shows] the breaking of the illusion of the Middle Eastern woman,” Hagop explained.

Hagop Belian has intense eyes, a warm laugh, and beach-tousled hair. He looks every bit like an artist-in-residence in Venice, California. Born in Damascus, Syria in 1977, Hagop immigrated to the United States with his sister when he was just twelve years old. As a Syrian-Armenian, he is motivated to preserve his culture and share it in a way that challenges stereotypes. “I want to show that not all people from the Middle East are terrorists or brainwashed into hurting others,” Hagop said. “The Middle East has a lot of beautiful qualities. The beginning of civilization, mathematics, music—there [are] a lot of things that came out of that land,” as told to staff writer Hattie Xu.

Hagop does commissions. They are custom animal totems created specifically for the client. For more, visit Hagop’s website at

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