"My art is deeply rooted in my cultural heritage and family history."
I. Artist Statement
I relate to the universe around me visually so I paint to understand my inner worlds.
I have lived half my life in the old world, the Middle East, and half of it in this new world. My work is a reflection of that mix. I don’t define myself or my art as being one or the other. I am a mix of both worlds as is my work.
My ancestry is 3/4 Turkumani and 1/4 Armenian. Both are people native to the Middle East. My parents were raised in northern Iraq around the second World War when poverty and simplicity were matters of fact. My father had more ambition than to be a shepherd and tend the land so he left his home town of Tel-Afar to get an education and worked in the big city of Baghdad as an engineer. My mother refused to marry her cousin (which was the norm) and left her home town of Kirkuk to go to college in Baghdad and became a school teacher. Fortunately for me, their union was one where education ruled over tradition.
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