Nominated by North Park University
History is layered like the paint on the canvas over time. I see a connection between the way history is layered over time and the physical layering process that occurs on the surface of a painting. I use the painting process to excavate historical images, events, and people. In my recent work these people come from a specific place – Palestine. In this work based on photographs, I have been referencing photographs appropriated from Before Their Diaspora by Walid Khalidi, a book that visually documents a subsequently devastated Palestinian society. While the main subjects of the paintings are drawn from that record from the past, in tandem with these figures, I have also incorporated representation of my family members (also Palestinian) from the present into the work, both through painting I develop these latter images by rendering from memory and painting from life. Through this process, I merge the living and the lost towards a revitalization of their collective history.
Image: Then and Now, 2017