Shortlisted for the Victoria and Albert museum's Jameel prize
Visit the V&A
I will be showing a new piece titled "Asad Babil"
Oil on panel
96"x70"- 244 cm x 178 cm
Inspired by Neo-Assyrian reliefs of lions and men in perpetual battle, this painting depicts a humiliated lion riddled with arrows, regurgitating intricately folded poker-sized playing cards that are reproductions of large paintings from the Waraq series reflecting characters of the Iraqi diaspora
The work parallels Mesopotamian motifs as well as events from Iraqi political history. During the first gulf war, Saddam Hussein developed a battle tank he named Asad Babil, or the Lion of Babylon. Utterly outclassed by the American forces it was ironically named after an ancient basalt monument depicting a man being trampled by a lion.
By interweaving significant historical scenarios this piece is a manifestation of the pandemonium and depression that arise from a tragic loss of solidarity in thought and culture.