In general, my art should be viewed as a visual representation of the human condition. The realization of my thoughts and emotions through the creation of my art is a way for me to express my inner self. In turn, I understand that my inner self is merely a particular manifestation of the human condition that connects everybody, and so it may be said that by expressing my inner self and revealing personal truths, I am attempting to reveal truths about us all.
More specifically, the creation of my art is an attempt to establish my identity, and to resolve my inner conflicts that have arisen from growing up as a foreigner in diverse communities. Born in Lebanon, raised partly in Sierra Leone, and finally in America, I have always been aware of my diverse surroundings as an outsider, and, in turn, how others have viewed me as different. These circumstances have compelled me throughout my life to contemplate such themes as ethnicity, identity, diversity, anxiety, fear, love, and acceptance, just to name a few. My art helps me realize these contemplations and provides opportunity for them to be discussed with others in hopes of forging a connection and an understanding between others and myself, and between emotions and the physical world.
Humor is one of the tools I use in my art. The use of comical and at times cartoon-like subject matter in my paintings, prints and sculptures allows me to present existential motifs in a simplified form. This makes them more easily understandable and relatable to people of all ages, particularly children, who can gain a lot from early exposure to such matters. For example, in my series “The Melancholic Hammer” I use a hammer – a common object associated with power, whether for construction or destruction, and through physical manipulation of it I give it an entirely different read. By bending the head and neck of the hammer inward the hammer becomes useless for its original purpose, and begins to take on more humanistic characteristics, such as emotions; specifically, remorse and sadness. Several conclusions or morals can be taken from this gesture. For example, we are perhaps reminded that our power is a tool that can be used for either good or bad. Still more, it reminds us that our power is limited. Beneath the edifice of indestructible power lies a mere human - sensitive, emotional and vulnerable. In other words, in the end it is a lonely hammer that smashes every nail.
I make art to encourage critical investigation of oneself and the world. Hopefully in turn this facilitates communication, acceptance, and a symbiotic existence.