Figure of Speech

Home » Portfolio » Objects » Figure of Speech

Figure of Speech; Acrylic on Canvas; 6′ x 8′

Figure of Speech reflects my interest in the relationship between the imagination and physical reality; language and meaning; the abstract and concrete. These paintings are inspired by various artistic practices and traditions such as quilt making, street art, primitive/ outsider art, ethnic and Islamic art, as well as abstraction and German Expressionism. They draw on a bold color palette, and make use of strong color contrasts to set the stage for the interplay between seemingly diverse, but related characters, to take shape.

This body of work conveys an interaction between a number of abstracted and unfamiliar shapes. Each painting, similar to a tangram or jigsaw puzzle, is covered with interlocking shapes, which create a constantly shifting relationship between the background and foreground. These shapes, although non-representational, have a presence, that may evoke a sense of familiarity and recognition.

I have been particularly intrigued by the concepts informing the aesthetic composition of Persian/ Islamic miniatures. The totality of figures, landscape and architecture in these paintings are arranged and coordinated in order to present an overall unified pattern. These paintings are at once surprisingly abstract, while simultaneously being representational. In looking at a miniature painting, one is less focused on the physical form and three-dimensional reality, and instead enters into the realm of essence or abstraction. Similar to miniature paintings, I seek to use the language of imagination in order to arrive at the threshold of insight and intuition, and bridge the gap between the concrete and the abstract.