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Quo Vadis?

Progress is desirable, but at what expense? How far have we come and where are we heading? I grew up taking for granted seeing insects such as dragonflies, honeybees, beetles and grasshoppers within the environment I lived in. But where are they now? What are the consequences of the journey that contemporary man has embarked on in the name of development, growth, transformation, urbanization, industrialization, and now globalization? We are all striving for a pristine world where the concrete jungles reign and human communication is mediated only through advanced technology.

Quo Vadis? is my new body of work through which I investigate the impact of man’s actions vis-à-vis nature. It is the continuation of my Background series that I started creating in 2014, and was followed by Background 2 in 2016. The current series forms a new chapter that addresses environmental issues. Through Quo Vadis? I am zooming in on the human back once again, the back that is layered with individual as well as collective history.

This time I have added magnified insects that hover around the human torso to symbolize all that nature represents in addition to man. My current work is about the destruction and extinction of living organisms, whether small or big in the name of modern life, peace and prosperity. It is about disconnection and the gap that keeps widening between man and the natural habitat. It is most of all about loss of equilibrium deriving from sterilizing and at the same time polluting mother earth. Man creates his own tragedy by systematically divorcing himself from nature.

When it comes to process, I continue to apply the same techniques as before. I prime my large format canvases (140cms x 200cms) first, and then layer them with collage work using old school exercise book pages, which I completely cover afterwards with acrylic paint to create a textured background to host the nude back torso image that comes with recurrent elements such as the car plates, archival letters and shadows symbolizing man’s values and actions. In the previous Background series, I was interested in inserting additional mundane objects to provide clues regarding my investigation of technology and history vis-à-vis contemporary life whereas in the current multiple works insects populate the canvas.

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