Hanan Sharifa is a New York based artist working in a variety of materials and fabrics including mesh, satin, jersey and re-purposed denim. “My garments are meant to be worn in a daydream. My work oscillates between the real and the spiritual, intended as a vehicle to liminality. As a complex individual with an atypical upbringing, my identity as a Moroccan American woman is at the center of my practice. I hope that my work allows those who wear it to be transported, to feel as to how I’ve felt, existing in another world and state of mind. Through my garments, I allow the wearer’s authentic self to shine through in hopes of evoking this same complexity and tension, this feeling of not quite belonging. Every garment I make is painted, printed, and hand-sewn by myself, an intention set by me to avoid the mechanical operations of fast fashion. My clothes are more than just something you wear, they are an experience all on their own.
In Arabic, Hanan translates to “tender”, or “compassionate.” I print my name in Arabic not only as a way to validate it to Western audiences but also to divert our understanding of English as a global standard. I want to dispel the stigma of Arabic as a potentially dangerous language, living in a post 911 world, and transform Americans’ perception to see the Arabic language exist on something beautiful. To have the word “tender” on our bodies reminds us of our collective empathy as humans, experiencing this world together.”
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