Philip Guston is attributed with saying, “I want to make something I never saw before and be changed by it.” This particular statement has always motivated me as an artist and I have a passion for using my imagination as I create new bodies of work, explore different mediums, and also allow for levels of ambiguity to be present so that a viewer has the capability of using their own mind as they interpret the work before them. My work is a reflection of my own self-investigation. It contains an equal mixture of concept and technical aesthetics, and I firmly believe that art is where all interests and experiences mix and meld.
Throughout my artistic career, I have been energetic about working across two-dimensional mediums. Utilizing everything from hyper-technical, high-wire graphite drawings, to thick, abstract painting allows me to make real use of my attraction to the organic and instinctual. Though the two mediums push me to engage different parts of my creative brain, I have discovered an essential similarity between them that drives me forward. I am motivated to push any given process to its furthest limits through these two modes of expression and while foreign from each other in practice, they fuse together perfectly within my creative being and are a part of who I am.
When in the studio, I embrace an autonomous working style, which also presents itself in the work I produce. Depicting solitary figures reacting with one or more objects in the space they inhabit, I look to inject mystery to the art. There is moodiness, and the story isn’t quite clear even while subtle clues about the premise are provided to guide a viewer. Ultimately, what I create is a reaction to the thinking process that I engage in while working, and I have made it a rule to never begin a piece with pre-conceived ideas or notions in my mind. It my subconscious that delivers direction to me—and the narrative I have with my mind inspires the cause and effect of my art.
Furthermore, I have found that my artistic impulses have been increasingly inspired by my time living in Qatar. I have become very aware of the twin forces of censorship and the curtailed agency of women in this country—and have a great interest in expressing the power of obscurity. Considering this, I have been at work developing ideas that deal with manipulation and distortion in a different way: emboldening the evidence of the omission—for instance, the visibility of a woman’s face or a piece of art deemed inappropriate by the state—and provoking a viewer to experience this generalized omission in a more specific way. Ultimately, a viewer must work to imagine what has been left out of the piece. I continue to spin this concept by approaching figurative works of art and presenting highly-simplified, organically-abstract blobs of flesh. This “Haram” or “sinful” nude figure becomes obscured and unformed, and thus, I am still able to approach figure work while operating in this different culture.
It is my goal that in working with a manipulated artistic gaze across modes and media that I have the chance to express something larger about the insistent materiality of visual art. However, I am also well aware that I cannot control the way that other people react to or interpret my art. While I am unable to predict the outcome, I can engage with a viewer and spur them into feeling a modicum of what I was