Arab Dolls BY Carlo Massoud
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Lebanese designer Carlo Massoud launched Maya, Zeina, Racha and Yara, a limited edition collection of sixty dolls rising from the ground in fifteen symmetrical rows that both captivate and challenge our traditional understanding of the feminine garment.
At first glance, the hollow objec ts are sleek and slick in a sea of familiar black. But a smaller collection of white dolls, each finished with a coating of gold leaf inside, disrupts the uniformity that is too often associated with the veil. The veil, which in its purest form is intended to represent modesty, has long been misconstrued and used to misrepresenting Muslim and Arab women. These wooden dolls adapt the concept of covering and concealing to a new function, material and scale. The dolls, empty from the inside, convey a sense of discretion and mystery, all while asserting individuality even in their regimented presentation. In western media, the veil has come to symbolize or justify assumptions about gender roles in the region.
Like the Arab woman, these dolls are bold and beautiful, strong and soft, evoking the emotions associated with a bullet or a thimble. Massoud’s inspiration for the dolls comes from his early friendships with four girls he had in school while growing up in Lebanon, who are Muslim, but did not wear the veil, highlighting the narrow and limiting ways in which we choose to understand and discuss the veil, and what it suggests about Muslim or Arab women in general. The designer makes a statement about the way we understand the function of objects in the Arab world and their role in sparking reflection and debate, meanwhile, paying tribute to the beauty that lies beneath the surface and challenging preconceived notions of gender roles within Arab society.
-Gold Edition - 17 x 36 cm
-Brass Edition - 17 x 36 cm
-Solid wood - Glossy black lacquer - 12 x 34 cm - Limited Edition of 15 per type in black color
-Solid wood - Glossy white lacquer and gold leaf - 12 x 34 cm - Limited Edition of 5 per type in white color
Carlo Massoud is a Lebanese product designer and interior designer. After graduating with a Masters’ degree in product design from Alba (Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts), he pursued a Master in product design for the luxury industry at the School of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL) where he had the opportunity to work on several projects under the supervision of international designers such as Ronan Bouroullec, Barber Osgerby, Marti Guixé, Pierre Charpin, Umberto and Fernando Campana.
His designs derive from a deeply engraved social critique humorously transformed into a useful and playful “object”. His projects range from tableware products, to function driven exhibition stands, packaging, and furniture, to ultimately embrace interior spaces in a magical atmosphere. He has exhibited his work at the Beirut Art Center, and in many other design gatherings.