Reconciling the Present
Ayad Alkadhi responds to the U.S. occupation of his native Baghdad
By Steven Biller
A figure hangs from a noose in a field of black paint — an arresting image with line after seemingly endless line of curious, white painted Arabic calligraphy. On another canvas, a body shrouded in white and set into a dark space bordered by a field of calligraphy lies anonymously in a coffin, never to receive proper burial. And a black-and-white painting of a handsome young man, presumably the Iraq-born artist himself, appears either intent or afraid to speak of his personal story as fiery orange and red lines of calligraphy stretch from one side of the canvas to the other, a cacophony of words covering his mouth.
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