"The war against war is going to be no holiday excursion or camping party" - William James
Location: Gaugamela Plains, Great Jamon || Norfolk, VA - Exhibited at the Offisite Gallery in the Norfolk World Trade Center, Feb 3rd - Mar 24th, 2017
This new body of work continues the dialogue from my last series "Journey of the Black Sun: Return to King's Landing" (a loose narrative about power, the placement of value, and war), but focuses itself on the topic of war.
My goal with "Glory", is to question the glorification of war through subject matter and material choice, reinterpret historical and current wars between Western and Arab Nations, and to create a metaphorical world that reflects the one we live in.
As an American artist of Moorish diaspora, I created this series in response to my perception of the wars the United States have caused in the Middle East, ancient wars between the West and the Middle East, the dichotomies between what is considered “valuable” and what is considered “valueless,” and the world’s long history of oppressive and corrupt monarchies and governmental systems.
The content of my work is deeply rooted in my personal experiences with racism, classism, and death. Furthermore, I draw heavily from my second hand experiences with war, which I've sourced from family members, literature, and film.
The allegorical subject matter is based on;
* The war philosophies and battle tactics of William James, Sun Tzu, Musashi Miyamoto, Henry Kissinger, Mac Bica, and Alexander the Great.
* War Theater Maps
* The emotional reactions of people who experience first hand the horrors of war.
* And my own internal conflicts in response to the atrocities committed by the United States Government against Syria, and Iraq.
Books: The Moral Equivalent of War by William James, The Order of Things by Michel Foucault, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond, Born to Rebel by Frank J. Sulloway, Good and Evil by Richard Taylor, Die Nigger Die! by H. Rap Brown, The arts of the South Pacific by Jean Guiart, Truth and Art by Albert Hofstadter, and The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades edited by Jonathan Riley-Smith.
Documentaries: Sir' no Sir', The Square, Five Broken Cameras, Saudi Arabia Uncovered, Iran is My Home, and The Oil Factor.
| My materials choices include but are not limited to mud, spit, fake diamonds, ornate textiles, ornate collage paper, fake gold foil, oil paint, house paint, oil stick, canvas, crayons, and glitter. |
Paintings/ Assemblages: To express my ideas, I use materials, techniques, and methods of construction that invite the viewer into my theatrical and fictional world, The Land of the Black Sun. My practice includes the slinging of mud and spit, glitter, oil paint, acrylic paint, collage of papers and textiles riddled with ornate designs, visceral drawings with crayon and oil stick, plastic diamonds, gold frames, silk, and hot glue all composed across cut and sewn canvas stretched like animal hides, or on reclaimed wooden panels.
War Stage Maps: Throughout history, geography has decided who is wealthy and full, who is poor and hungry, and who wins wars. Using this as inspiration, I’ve created a small series of battle stage maps to accompany the main body of work.