Doris Bittar was born in Baghdad, Iraq of Lebanese parentage and her early childhood was spent in the outskirts of Beirut, Lebanon. Her memories of Lebanon are rich with pattern, from Oriental rugs to her mother's embroidery. Her family immigrated to New York where eventually she studied Fine Arts. In the United States, Bittar's observations both coincided and clashed with the portrayal of the "exotic Orient" and the various images of Arabs, Jews and Europeans. The cross-pollination between these cultures has created a hybridized tangle of perception that is played out in her paintings. Her multi-media artworks combine specific cultural narratives, Islamic patterns, Arabic calligraphy and intertwine them with European and Western cultural traditions.
Upon graduatiing with a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of California, San Diego in 1993, Bittar had a one-person exhibit at the Alternative Museum in New York. Since then she has had solo exhibitions in California at the David Zapf Gallery and at various colleges and universities. She has shown in group exhibitions throughout the United States, in Europe and Mexico. In 1995-96 she was a fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. Most recently Bittar was a recipient of the California Arts Council Fellowship and won a Puffin Grant for her work on telling the stories of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon through the use of Islamic medallion patterns. She has been reviewed in a variety of publications including Art in America, Art and Antiques, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Diego Union/Tribune, and Al Hayat. Her work is discussed in a number of scholarly books and pamphlets most notably, Images of Enchantment by Sherifa Zuhur. Several museums house her work in their collections. She lectures at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University. Doris Bittar has also published opinion pieces on Arab American issues for the San Diego Union-Tribune and Alternet.com, as well as cultural essays and reviews for Al Jadid.
Bittar currently resides in southern California with her husband and two sons.
ARTWORK BY DORIS BITTAR