Cultural Re-Expressions 101

sharbika, 2003, acrylic on canvas, 185x325 cm

I loved painting the qutras (headscarves) on these men. The main character in the white, summer dishdasha is a little like the eating boy. He’s in his own world, sitting on his throne atop a hill, oblivious to all. In fact, it’s funny because this man in all his arrogance was based on someone I know; and who is the father of the boy who inspired boy eating. Again, this painting has little bits here and there that are influenced by my childhood memories of seeing these singers on Kuwait TV. The guy with the glass eye, the tantric state of these men. The painting is very nostalgic and is as much about the ashtray and matchbox as it is about these singing men.

My only regret about this painting (and a few others in the same series) is not stretching it myself.

Added February 4th, 2010: I had an e-mail complaint today that by ‘criticizing’ my painting (re: last line), I have ‘lower[ed] the artistic and physical value of the painting’. In what way is it ‘criticizing’ when I am ruing the fact that I didn’t personally handle the stretching of the painting-which was, incidentally, stretched AFTER completion? It’s such a shame when people read sloppily through my words. I am EXTREMELY fanatic about not only what and how I deliver my thoughts, but about the specific words I use. I write thoughtfully and deliberately. So please use great thought and deliberation when reading what I write. I would appreciate it, and it would save me a lot of trouble and heartache.

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