THE GODDESS COMPLEX - Aquatic Arabesque

United Kingdom

Size: 19.7 H x 27.6 W x 0 in

This artwork is not for sale.

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Art Description

Painting: Paper

Painted over an intense three-week period, ‘Aquatic Arabesque,’ was originally commissioned by an Omani-English couple who were friends of Diriye.
‘The original intention was clichéd,’ he concedes. ‘I wanted to design a belly dancer holding maps of England and Oman in her hands.’
That concept soon got nixed.
‘Although the couple loved the idea, I wasn’t happy with it,’ he says. Instead he created a sprawling aquatic image complete with a larger-than-life goddess, mermaids, merchildren and Arabic love poetry. Using collage, acrylics, waterproof tattoos, paint pens, gutta, 3D paint, coloured pencils and ink, the scale and detail of the painting is his most ambitious to date.
‘Even though the painting has Arabesque flourishes,’ he says, ‘it leans more towards the carnivalesque as it takes in wild, glow-in-the-dark colours. It’s a celebration of a union imagined as an underwater party.’
Of his predominant use of craft-based materials, Diriye says that ‘the whole point of making art is to have fun. When I paint, everything slips away. Reality is subsumed by the escapist pleasure at hand. When I was younger, my parents wouldn’t allow me to draw until I had completed my homework. Drawing was considered a luxury. I still carry with me the idea that making art is a privilege.’
The Arabic poem featured in this print is by the Syrian poet, Nizar Qabbani. It’s called 'Your Love' and it's translated by A.Z Foreman.
'You with your fathomless eyes!/ Your love
is extreme/ mystical/ holy. / Like birth and death, your love/ is unrepeatable.'

Keywords: Stylized, Surreal, Arabesque

Subjects: Fantasy

Styles: Surrealism

Mediums: Paper


Prints: Fantasy Art Prints, Surrealism Art Prints, Paper Art Prints

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