Girl with the gold headband (2022)
The artist has gained recognition for her innovative approach to portraiture, specifically in her practice of placing women of color as protagonists in her works. In doing so, she disrupts the patriarchal canon of art history, which has long been dominated by male artists and male subjects. The result is a collection of portraits imbued with sensitivity and majesty, which challenge conventional notions of beauty and power.
One notable work in Lad's portfolio is Girl with a Gold Headband, which is painted in a modern impressionist style. This style, favored by the Old Masters, utilizes loose brushstrokes and vivid colors to convey the essence of the subject, rather than attempting a photographic realism. In this painting, Lad portrays a woman of color in a glamorous and regal manner, with a gold headband adorning her hair.
The significance of this work lies in its rarity - there are few examples of portraits featuring people of color, and even fewer featuring women of color, in the glamorous and regal manner seen in Girl with a Gold Headband. Additionally, the use of an impressionist style adds to the work's modern classic appeal, as it references the art historical canon while simultaneously subverting it. Overall, Lad's work is a testament to the power of representation in art and the importance of challenging traditional narratives.
Oil on cotton canvas