“It’s when characters in a picture are overflowing with Dignity, when I feel empathy for them, and I can sense they feel that for each other. All of my favorite work seems to have an abundance of dignity, empathy, and fantasy. For me, Courage and Goodness are synonymous.”

It seems to me that if we meet our truth with goodness/bravery – the result is beauty…Comfort – protection – consolation – we definitely long for these. Irony – at least as a philosophical groundwork – seems a shortcut – with no real satisfaction

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“I enter my paintings as if I am wandering through dreams, recognizing people, places and things, and yet the situations are of such strangeness and intensity that my mind must work to try to interpret and decode what I see. It is in that process where I find the value of my work: not what you see, but what is not. What generates my work internally, and when the painting is done, what it represents to the viewer.”

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“We generally have a limited understanding of the black male nude as an artistic subject. In my practice, painting the figure entails encountering and interrogating the heroizing, idealizing tradition of the nude in Western Art in which black and brown bodies have been objectified and dehumanized. I’m part of a generation of artists picking up this mantel, locating ourselves as artists, models, and subjects, and working to remake what the nude does and how it produces meaning.”

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Countries in the Middle East vary a lot. for instance, there is a great difference between Dubai and Afghanistan, but professional women are oppressed all over the world in many ways. I myself have faced a lot of obstacles being a woman artist, yet I knew that women can do everything men could do. The more men have told me, “you can’t do that,” the more I had to prove them wrong. I had to hold it up for all women who looked up to me to be brave and courageous. We defend our artworks with our fists and our crazy courage. When you have guys that disrespect you, you’re gonna have to teach them a lesson, otherwise they are going to keep walking all over you. I’m sorry, but that’s the way it is out there; it’s not easy. But this also reflects views of the art world in general.

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