Description of We Reap What We Sow
We Reap What We Sow can currently be seen at my solo exhibition Resist Division in Kyo Gallery in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia through June 2019.
Also available in limited edition prints.
We Reap What We Sow is a painting that reflects my deep concern that we here in America could lose our democracy to a dictator. America has known freedom and democracy during my lifespan. Historically, dictators show up when the country is in a decline. Over the last two years, I have found it quite alarming to hear an individual say he alone can solve America’s problems. There is no “I” in democracy and our constitution clearly states freedom is for, “We the people…”
I am a storyteller. I use symbolism, colors, and double imagery, along with many other techniques, to create an elaborate narrative on canvas. I want the viewer drawn into the work, seeing something for the first time, each time. I create movement within the painting to draw the viewer in a counterclockwise direction, as the point of the story is often found here. My work is instantly visually gratifying. Yet, when consumed for a second and third time more slowly, it will draw you into it and appeal to you in a much deeper, more satisfying sense. Each of my works can usually be broken down into several separate paintings or scenes, yet they are cohesive in theme. I often paint a painting within an image. I often conceal an image of myself within the painting somewhere.
I was heavily influenced by symbolism growing up as a young adult in Cairo, Egypt. I have created a cache of symbols that I use throughout my work, whether it is the dove representing peace, the peacocks warning us of unseen dangers, or the man with the derby hat, “Mr. Moneybritches,” representing the man/men with all the money who are really in control of everything.
I find the use of double imagery in my work to be very technically challenging yet thoroughly rewarding when it works. One example of this within this painting can be found in the mid left section where there is a hawk-like bird and within that image a road, winding like a snake toward a burning castle.
One very common image that I paint within another is that of mother and child. To the right of the dictator is a face peering out from behind a pillar and within that face is an image of a mother and child.
Beneath the chest of the peacock on the right side of the painting is the silhouette of a person with their back up against a pillar, looking very small and helpless. This figure represents me, it represents you, it represents everyone.
My goal is quite simply to make us all think.