[Art makes people aware of their stream of consciousness. One very important aspect of art is that it makes people aware of what they know and what they don’t know that they know.]
Art is a universal language that connects with all people from different cultures of all ages.
My family immigrated to the US in 1976 and five years later I became a naturalized US citizen. I advanced my art career until I stopped painting in 2001 after the events of 9/11, and worked only as an art director that offered me steady income to raise three children. The combination of being a Christian from Aleppo and a Syrian-American watching events unfold in Syria influenced me to begin painting again in 2015. These experiences are reflected in my new artwork.
My recent work showcases paintings of a semi-abstract vision of Syria’s urban landscapes in its war-torn cities. My primary focus is of my birthplace — the city of Aleppo with urban scenes of building facades, balconies, collapsed floors and aerial views. My new direction is expressed primarily through the use of accumulative strokes and the manipulation of paint to create an abstract interpretation. My aim is not to focus on the politics of the conflict, but instead to raise awareness in the hope of changing the perception from destruction — of haunting and disturbing scenes to hopeful, colorful neighborhoods that are filled with life. The presence of people is felt without showing human suffering and offer a glimpse of hope for residents to return and rebuild. I use insistently brush strokes lines in all directions that meant to convey my perception of the speed and flux of modern life with the suggestion of movement, and to evoke hidden personages that center on expression rather than representation.
I began using short and long strokes in the mid-90’s that meant to convey my perception of the speed and flux of modern life in my previous abstract paintings. The current work employs the same techniques with expressionist approach. The method of my painting is equated with spontaneity and the rapid execution of painterly gestural-motifs with limited color palette. My objective is to bring forth the hidden characters of an urban scene in a neoplasticism style that solidify my identity among my contemporaries.
The process of each painting is a simple 2-4 steps process and follows a building construction, starting with a black and white loose sketch or underpainting of a realistic scene. The deconstruction process begins by applying translucent bold heavy paint of strokes to finish with a semi-abstract fragmented expressionist painting of the scene. The final step is to assemble a minimum of eight assemblage paintings to form one artwork.