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Katie Miranda will show painting of Palestinian ‘Salvator Mundi’ in DC (and seeks your support)

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We’re pleased to inform readers of contributor Katie Miranda’s fall show in Washington, and of her appeal for support. –Editor.

Palestinian “Salvador Mundi” by Katie Miranda. For her show at the Jerusalem Fund’s Gallery Al-Quds in October 2019. Image courtesy of the painter.

I have been blessed with an invitation to have a solo art show for the month of October at the Jerusalem Fund’s Gallery Al-Quds in Washington DC. I intend to create new paintings for this show, and this is the first painting I have done for the series, a Palestinian Salvator Mundi. In his right hand, he holds the key to his ancestral home, stolen and erased by Zionist forces in 1948. In his left hand, he holds a globe, reflecting at the viewer the other key to liberation.

I believe the key to the future of Palestine lies in Washington, not Jerusalem, not Ramallah, not Europe. I believe apartheid for Palestinians would end if Washington stopped sending its 3 billion in aid to Israel.

In order to be able to create new paintings for the show, I’ve started a Patreon. Patreon, if you have not heard of it before, is a website where you can pledge a certain amount each month to

Katie Miranda

people in creative industries and in return get certain perks or get to be part of the creative process. I’m offering prints, cards, a full hour and a half of my time each month in my open office hours, jewelry, and original art. Tiers are $1/month, $5/month, $10/month, $35/month and $100/month and there are rewards at every level.

If you would like to support more work like this, head on over to my Patreon.

Salvator Mundi by Leonard da Vinci (Photo by VCG Wilson/Corbis via Getty Images)

Salvator Mundi, meaning “savior of the world” is a painting of Jesus by Leonard da Vinci (1452-1519). Leonardo’s work fascinates me because he was one of the great artists who helped take western art from its flat and shapeless medieval origins to realistically depicting three-d space on a two-d surface using techniques developed through dissection of cadavers, discoveries of geometry, and observations of nature.

He was such a genius in so many areas, not only painting, but architecture, anatomy, astronomy, engineering, geology, botany, etc.. etc. He was so curious about everything, and that is the reason we have so few paintings by him: he had too many other interests.



Katie Miranda

Katie Miranda is an illustrator, jewelry designer, calligrapher, and cartoonist living in Portland, OR. Her Arabic calligraphy jewelry and apparel are favorites of people in the Palestine solidarity community. Katie runs Palbox: a quarterly subscription box containing Palestinian goods benefiting the Northern California branch of the International Solidarity Movement. Connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

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23 Responses

  1. eljay on April 7, 2019, 1:53 pm

    I don’t want to be a patron but I’ll gladly make a one-time donation. If there’s somewhere I (and others who may wish to do the same) can do so, please advise. Congratulations on and best of luck with the exhibit! :-)

  2. Keith on April 7, 2019, 3:50 pm

    KATIE MIRANDA- “I believe the key to the future of Palestine lies in Washington, not Jerusalem, not Ramallah, not Europe.”

    I tend to lean more to New York City where the real power lies, but who knows? Definitely the US.

  3. Katie Miranda on April 7, 2019, 4:29 pm

    Thanks eljay, you can paypal a donation to [email protected]

  4. Jejasalo on April 8, 2019, 11:45 am

    Way to go, Katie. I’ll do what I can.

  5. genesto on April 8, 2019, 3:45 pm

    Kudos to you Katie! I’ll sign up for Tier 3. – Gene

  6. dianeshammas on April 8, 2019, 4:37 pm

    Katie, I appreciate that the sales will go to ISM. However, the Palestinian Salvador Mundi is dressed as a man from the Gulf, the typical white dishdasha (Lebanese dialect disdasheh), and the white ghutra (which in the Levant, the male head scarf generally called the kuffiyah, is red and white as you probably know).

    I lived in the Gaza Strip for three months at a time for the years 2010-2013, and 2017, and spent also a great deal of time in the West Bank and pre 1948 Historic Palestine (Israel). I also am of Lebanese heritage, I have never seen a Palestinian dress or anyone from the Levant that identifies with a specific tribe dress as in this photo. I also have been to the Gulf countries several times, and this is the traditional dress for native men there—although in the UAE, Qatar, and Saudia Arabia, the collar treatment on the white taub or dishdasha is different.

    • YoniFalic on April 8, 2019, 5:50 pm

      It’s not my field, but fashion evolves. When I review pictures from the end of the 19th century, I only rarely see something that looks like the modern male Palestinian headscarf. I suspect that the red & white kuffiyah might have been regional or belonged to a specific class that was not so often photographed. I do notice a large regional & class-based & occupation-based variety in native Palestinian garments.

      • dianeshammas on April 9, 2019, 3:34 am

        I made my living in fashion as a retailer and footwear manufacturer in edgy junior fashion for 25 years —my line vied with Steve Madden. It isn’t a fashion thing for me. In my experience I am just making the point the painting is entitled Palestinian Mundi and everyone has their interpretations but the style portrayed resemble a flavor of Palestine —I gave the example of the red and white kuffiyah or the plain white scarf as traditionally that was seen in the Levant. I am a former professor and I took time off to teach in the universities in Gaza. None of my male students wore kuffiyas, I am of Arab descent myself so I don’t believe in these silly stereotypes.
        In rebuttal to my comment, Miranda presents a link
        of how factually incorrect I was. The only commonality between her painting screams “ Gulf” sheikh and the elderly Palestinians is the color white. Other than white as the color of the thobes the style of both garments are distinctly different. The Miranda painting shows a man in a crisp, white dishdasha/Rhône andmanucured you will see more that image in the Gulf as the dtymebis from the Gulf. I would have liked a contemporary male more than a man in a thobe. The key is the only hint of Palestine. Sorry Ms. Miranda your rebuttal is not convincing , the Palestinians in the photos you sent as a link the dress is completely different than the man’s style of thobe in your painting—i never said Palestinian men don’t wear white, it’s about the style difference.
        I have a problem of you portraying a painting that appears as a man from the Gulf with a key as 1) The Gulf has hardly been an ally to the Palestinians particularly in light of the Saudi Crown Prince’s courting a rapprochement with Israel; and 2) Except for the key it’s racist —and it offends me. Plus not that original the rest . Sorry

    • Katie Miranda on April 8, 2019, 7:02 pm

      Diane, I never mentioned the proceeds I earn from Patreon will go to ISM. I’m a full time artist, and Patreon is a platform that allows artists and other creatives to earn money from their creative output.

      One of my projects that does benefit ISM is Palbox:

      I lived in the West Bank for 3 years and I saw plenty of old Palestinian men dressed this way:

      • Jejasalo on April 8, 2019, 9:51 pm

        Don’t pay any attention to her, Katie.

    • Katie Miranda on April 8, 2019, 7:51 pm

      Also, it’s not a photo, it’s a painting.

      • Katie Miranda on April 8, 2019, 10:21 pm

        Thank you Jejasalo, I know art critics are a dime a dozen, but I feel obligated to respond to all 3 factual inaccuracies.

  7. dianeshammas on April 9, 2019, 6:26 am

    I understand what you are saying, about fashion evolves, but my criticism of her portrayal of Palestinians was based more on the soul of the Palestinian and when I saw the painting, pardonnes-moi I should call it a photo—some photographers are artists too–immediately what I thought of was a Gulf Man, actually the cool, 5:00 shadow kind of Gulf man in the MBC commercial breaks of Arab Got Talent. This comes from living amongst Palestinians in Gaza and my extended visits in West Bank; and in the last 2 years, for my family’s business and en route to the South Asia to UAE and Qatar.
    Having said that, if this sounded like a fashion analysis, well, that can be explained to. Before I returned back to academia for a PhD in 2002, I was in the fashion industry for 25 years, starting as an asst. sales mgr at Bullocks/now Macy’s dept. stores, while getting my master’s degree in anthropology, and decided to ditch anthropology, and five years later I owned my own retail stores and extended the business to wholesale/mfg in footwear selling every major retailer in the country, and independents too—I had a design team, but I also had a major hand in the designs–our line vied with our friend Steve Madden. So a little of my past trade rubbed off in my critique on the authenticity of her painting—i.e., collar treatment, silhouette, etc.

    On so many levels, I have problems with her paintings: 1) it reeks of Arab tropes, typical male Arab in thobe or dishdasha regardless if it is Gulf or whatever tired link she put up to show me what the Palestinian old men wear where she volunteered at ISM; 3) then, she has the audacity of pairing the “right of return” key with the Orientalist trope of an Arab, a Gulf Arab, which if you now the history, the Gulf has been a fair weather ally of the Palestinians—not to mention the people of Sham/Levant in general–witness the Crown Prince courting a rapprochement with Israel; 4) Miranda is very high on citing in her bio that the Crown Prince, the paramour of elite Washington, bought DaVinci Salvator Mundi, so that for some reason that adds more marketability to her painting, with an added bonus of her creation being inspired by DaVinci–give me a break; and 4) her links to photos of elderly Palestinian men are not convincing, their dress bears no resemblance to her painting, they have layers of neutral long wraps on their white dress—who said Palestinians do not wear white, I didn’t. I just criticized her on if she wants to portray the soul of Palestinians, this painting does not capture it as your eyes go towards the Arab Got Talent Arab Sheikh and the key gets lost in the translation.

  8. dianeshammas on April 9, 2019, 7:07 am

    Yes, in the morning, I hurriedly looked at Mondoweiss, skimmed your bio as I am too busy with my own projects—-and I spotted that some donations went to ISM. BTW, I am not an art critic, my credentials are of a different sort, although I have an artistic background in fashion and writing, and my niece is an accomplished musician, classically trained, and globally known as an experimental & pop musician. All of my life, due to my heritage and also having in the family a mediator, Lebanese national working with “Israeli” negotiators during the Madrid Talks, I over the years along with my advanced degrees, Phd. focusing on the Middle East/North Africa and its diaspora in the US/Europe, have some qualms with the Arab tropes in your painting, as expressed above.

    You might have lived among the Palestinians like I did, edit out that I am of Lebanese descent here, I am American-born, do not choose for them that the key to the future is Washington not Ramallah, Jerusalem or Europe”. You are wrong any self respecting Palestinian, Arab, and most importantly Anti-Zionist knows it is not through Washington, Washington has proven for at least 50 years–the real occupation has been 70 + years– since Truman who accepted the Zionist entity, to be more than a fickle friend but treacherous one to Palestine along with US’ client state, Saudi Arabia. Like India, like Ireland, like the U.S., the real struggle and victory comes through the Palestinians themselves, they have equipped themselves in resistance since at least the 1930s…they do not need the Empire to teach them how to do it…they know well the lessons like Southeast Asia, of the Empire. Not an art critic and never purported to be, but what moves me is anti-imperialist art. I have been to Iran, Cuba, Gaza, the real images in the Middle East, are of Che Guevara, Malcolm X. I am no House Arab.

    • Mooser on April 9, 2019, 3:22 pm

      ” my niece is an accomplished musician, classically trained, and globally known as an experimental & pop musician.”

      You don’t say. Does she like the painting?

      • dianeshammas on April 9, 2019, 11:43 pm

        No she would not for the same reason I do not as it represents an Orientalist trope.

      • Mooser on April 10, 2019, 5:00 pm

        “No she would not for the same reason I do not”

        Of course. Don’t know why I bothered to ask. Sorry.

    • echinococcus on April 9, 2019, 10:43 pm

      Loved your comment, especially the second paragraph.

      Let’s be fair, though. When she says “I believe the key to the future of Palestine lies in Washington, not Jerusalem, not Ramallah, not Europe” she is in part correct, so far. We certainly are the key –meaning the keystone of the whole imperial edifice that must be taken down for anyone in the world to breathe.

      Where it gets a fairy-tale flavor is the next sentence, of course: “I believe apartheid for Palestinians would end if Washington stopped sending its 3 billion in aid to Israel.”

      • dianeshammas on April 9, 2019, 11:55 pm

        It is 38 billion dollars actually remember after Obama left the Oval Office he bestowed that ridiculous amount of a gift to Netanyahu. I voted for Obama but did not agree with anything he offered nothing to the Palestinians…the 2009 speech was in vain, I was travelling from Gaza on a bus back to the Rafah, Egypt crossing while he was delivering his speech. What a big disappointment what would transpire during the tenure of his presidency. In all fairness Netanyahu berated him so that I guess he did it to get him off his back.
        Unlike some of my comrades, I participate in the system, and see some positive movement with Ilhan Omar, who I had the opportunity to meet and speak with, and Betty McCollum, but we must give enormous tribute to the Palestinians as they do not need us to teach them resistance remember the 1936 Arab rebellion.

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