In Baya Mahieddine’s works, the woman is always the focal point. There aren’t any male figures in her paintings. There are some works where you have a female with an infant. But then again, that’s an extension of the woman herself. Baya was born in 1931 and orphaned when she was around five or six years old. She was then raised by her grandmother. Later on, she was adopted by the French intellectual Marguerite Camina Benhoura. It was after seeing Baya drawing and painting in the mud, and making clay figures while her grandmother was working in the garden, that Benhoura adopted her and nurtured that talent. Benhoura had a huge impact on Baya’s life. She was a painter herself, This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-One Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 51 Emily Gernild The Danish painter breathing new life into an old medium. Arts & Culture Food Issue 51 Imogen Kwok The artist takes food styling quite literally, creating accessories out of fruits and vegetables. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Karin Mamma Andersson Inside the moody, mysterious world of Sweden’s preeminent painter. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Amalie Smith The Danish arts writer finding clarity between the lines. Arts & Culture Issue 49 Studio Visit: Heidi Gustafson A cabin in the Cascade Mountains houses a hermetic artist—and her extraordinary world of natural pigments. Arts & Culture Issue 48 Jordan Casteel The acclaimed painter of people—and now plants.