These paintings are a direct response to the chaos experienced by those fleeing conflict. I am painting destroyed buildings in Syria. I consume this disastrous pornography of destruction with the same breath as the other news and daily entertainment.
In this body of work I question my role as an artist and think about my responsibility as a member of society. What is the right way of presenting tragedy? And who is entitled to do so?
While spending hours examining details in photographs I feel an empty and helpless. I feel privileged and guilty and that paralyzes me, but at the same time I have an inner urge to do this, to paint this. I cover the bare, wounded skin and flesh like walls and hollow, dark cavities of bombed buildings with color as a wail for the great suffering that is happening. The colors are reminiscent of exposed walls and are signs of vanished life.
I grew up in northern Israel. Syria along with Lebanon was always portrayed as our close enemy. It has been over a decade that I left Israel to Minnesota and now as I work on defining my cultural identity I feel closer to my former Syrian neighbors than when we had only few kilometers apart. The far away perspective changed how I view the complicated relationships of the Middle East.
Through this work, I hope to explore and question our global responsibility as a society and as human beings.
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