ARTIST STATEMENT

A stark contrast lies between the liberal European metropolitan cities where I was raised and the Middle Eastern country where I was born, Saudi Arabia, governed by the strict ideologies of Wahabi Islam. Through my art, I deal with the internal conflict brought about by my fragmented national identities, conventional ideologies of heritage, cultural expectations, and dichotomous feelings of belonging and alienation. 

 

When asked “where are you from?”, a question that would normally be a simple one worded answer to most, I answer with a tiresome existential, long-winded script of an explanation. Wondering, in what context does this person mean “where from?”

 

In an attempt to understand the root of national pride, alienation, and belonging, I have naturally been attracted to phenomenologies of the social sciences and how they are tied to our physiological nature, as well as technological advancements that transcend cultural identities, more specifically - the internet.

 

In the selfish struggle against the feeling of alienation we connect to like-minded beings, whether in their religious, political, occupational, or habitual views, and in the process, we work our way beyond self-purpose, a mere manifestation of how we function on a cellular level. So much so, that our greatest technological achievement, the internet, has been a tool primarily used to connect with like minded peers.

 

My process usually begins with a selection of colors, which I pour, drip, splatter, knife, and etch with acrylic paint and various tools, until there is a somewhat harmonized composition of basic shapes and colors. Afterwards, my imagination identifies the faces and characters that have by chance appeared in the intentional chaos of my initial treatment of the canvas. I then paint the faces and bring them out so that they are not only clear to me, but become fixed for the viewer as well. Over 10 years in the making, I have evolved the identity of my self-sustained wandering entities that are suspended in time and space.