As I continue doing my little exploration of Algeria this week, I am really excited to show you the work of Baya (aka Haddad Fatma Baya Mahieddine). Not only are her paintings extraordinary, but her tale as a Algerian female artist in the 40s (and again in the late 60s) coming from a poor family with no formal education makes her especially unique. While her work is often classified as "surrealist" (André Breton, leader of the Surrealism movement which began in the 1920s, and Picasso seemed to have agreed that she could join their club), it's very rooted in traditions, patterns, colors and patterns of her homeland.

Totally loving the animal farm that is her dress and the red-eyed donkey

While I've often been hesitant about the "my future 5-year old will be able to paint that $3 million per piece" school of art, I must say that I loved Baya's work at first site. It's fun, light, yet full of little details and a heluva lot of imagination.

One-eyed, butterfly-winged sea-horse that overate too many flowers you say?!

I love these vixen ladies in their deep purples, the details in the dresses and the fish with the same vixen eyes

I love her work in this stamp!

To read a great paper on this artist, check out this entry over at Contemporary Algeria.

So what do you think? Love it? Hate it?

{Pics from Universes in Universe, World's Women, L'Aracine, and Algeria888 on Flickr}

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