The artist also plays with traditions of ornamentation in art, creating an unlikely convergence of decoration and abstraction. There are byzantine details built into her depictions of gates, their curling embellishments beautifying these borders but also drawing attention to the artist’s handling of paint and detail. In some cases, the decoration parallels the kind of intricate blooms and geometric patterns might be carved into the wood of a picture frame.
While her use wild use of color could be the subject of some of these works, in the end the paintings are about Awad’s own visual experience. She was born in Pasadena and lives in Los Angeles, where gates of this pseudo-baroque style are everywhere, cordoning off expensive homes and their manicured gardens. Awad has ultimately created a kind of portrait of Southern California that will be instantly recognizable to those who know the area.