The Struggle was sketched in 2000, but was painted later in 2017. This work is unique, it has an expressionism, surrealistic, and contemporary art style. More importantly, it also has my own style which is the intersecting black lines representing life to me. Life (the black lines) can be confusing, puzzling and random sometimes, but within that confusion and chaos you can always find meaning, beauty and peace. I paint in bright colours to convey happiness and a vibrant energy. I use abstract shapes and figures. It is also expected from the viewer to connect with the painting and make sense of it in his own personal way, and the interpretations can vary widely. The painting is 120 cm (47 inch) by 100 cm (40 inch) canvas painted in acrylic.
In the year 2000, I was greatly affected by the birth of my daughter Amal, who was diagnosed with one of the most difficult and rarest diseases, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), from the first day she was born. The doctors told us she wouldn’t make it. It’s a rare chronic disease, that has no cure, where the skin is as weak and fragile as a butterfly’s wing. Blisters and open wounds are formed by the slightest touch. She is in constant pain
as you can imagine. Although I have never studied art, or had drawn or painted before, on the night of her first birthday, my art was born due to the enormous emotional and mental turmoil my wife, my kids and I went through dealing with this disease. I would say, my style reflects this struggle and expresses feelings and emotions that seem impossible to explain in words.
This particular painting, The Struggle, is a direct reflection of my struggle with my daughter’s disease. I was confused, scared and literally all over the place, which is apparent in the painting, and actually in most of my paintings. However, it also represents everyone’s struggle in life. The background of the painting, in the lower half, the red shape symbolizes the problems, accidents, failure, breakdown, bad luck and everything bad in life, and the black triangle/arrow, is the emotional, mental and social state that is created by these events, being depressed, lonely and isolated. The upper half has the blue colour which symbolizes the sky, openness and freedom, and the yellow triangle/arrow is the sun, warmth, hope, happiness, success, and everything good in life.
Inside the oval shape, is the confused and perplexed human in his own shell; half in the darkness, and the other half in the light. He has good things and bad things in his life, always having a mix of misfortune and joy. If he only focuses on the bad, on the lower half, he will be pulled down to the darkness, drown and stay there. However, if he fights, chooses to focus on the good with patience and persistence, he will rise up to the light, and overcome his pain, troubles and misfortune.
Acrylic on cotton canvas