Sunday, April 30, 2023

You Are My Home!


The HOME Within

You Are My Home!

 

If my home was a tattoo

I would engrave it on my heart

And rest! 

What does home stand for? Is it the place where one lives? When I was stationed away from home, (ironically in my ancestors’ homeland) I started to question what really constitutes a home.

Quite frankly, I was worried that I might go down at any moment from a sniper shot, mortar, or IED. However, I never felt helpless or scared, simply because death is everyone’s fate. This undeniable fact was first spoken in The Epic of Gilgamesh [1]  thousands of years ago[RG1] !

My major concern was that no death is justified if not for love! 

Defending home sounds right, but what really is home, and where is home for each one of us? For me, the whole earth is my home, but in particular, my beloved sweetheart is my ultimate home!

Many famous artists have recreated their artworks for one reason or another, including Francisco de Goya, Claude Monet, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, and more. Some of my old works vanished when their collectors passed away and the inheritors, who were uneducated in art, did not keep them. Other works of mine were looted from museums. Several artworks were destroyed by the evil forces I stood against them when I was young.

The 2012 artwork, Homeland, was always motivating me to redo it differently by playing with the main shape and colors. Therefore, the 2022 artwork, Homeland of Life, is an echo and a reshaping of the 2012 artwork. Homeland of Life is a mix of the complexity of thoughts and simplicity of a shape based on one Logogram symbol referring to the word home and pronounced as Ki/Bit in ancient Sumero-Akkadian[2] culture, aka Proto-Kaldi[3].

 Home is like love; you do not have to write a bulky book about it. A tender eye contact or a gentle squeeze of the hand is enough. Actions speak louder than words! 

1 Gilgamesh was the first hero in ancient Mesopotamia and worldwide mythologies. He is the protagonist of the Epic of Gilgamesh and the first superhero who stood up to cosmic evil forces to help humanity.

2 Sumero-Akkadian; relating to, or constituting the Sumerian and Akkadian languages, cultures, or people. 

3 Proto-Kaldi: In 1988, historian Amer Hanna Fatuhi named pre-Sumerian culture Proto-Kaldi. This term was first used in his study entitled “Ur of Chaldeans - An Iraqi Perspective.” Subsequently, it became common among Iraqi scholars in the 1990s and worldwide in 2004.


 



Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Marching for Peace


 The Bitter Orange Flower of My Soul

         In my dictionary, love and peace are my ultimate goal in life. A goal that I am so committed to and working hard on achieving, but the reality of this broken world is quite different.

         Peace and war are like day and night, you can not recognize and appreciate them without going through both of them.

         Internal peace and external peace are what help us stand up tall in front of all challenges. During the darkest moments in life, one simple dot of light can grow hope inside every and each person’s heart and mind worldwide. Therefore, no matter how hostile is the world around us, no power on earth can stop my march for peace.

         As a soldier of love, I believe in art as the right tool to fight the dark and help peace to be victorious. ~ Amer H. Fatuhi

 

Subject: Wounding the Dark III

Technique: Acrylic & Mixed Media on Canvas

Measurements: 30 x 30 Inches

Date: 2007

Price: $30,000

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Ishtar’s Spells

 


Dancing Between Myth & Logogramism’s Lines!

As evidenced by many museums’ displays, the mix of myths and art goes back to the pre-historic period when the first primitive artists/sorcerers used their imagination to interpret weather phenomena (wind, cloud, rain, storm, snow, fog, and dust storms, etc.) as divine practices. As a theme, religion has always influenced artists, past and present. On the other hand, mixing figurative composition and symbolic artwork styles is not recommended because it is like mixing water and fire. In the end, only one element will survive! 

So how can an artwork that uses a religious theme, which some may categorize as myth, mix between figurative and symbolism in painting and still be considered a successful artwork?

 Ishtar’s Spells artwork might seem just an example of how myths could play an important factor in shaping and strengthening our views of the world. For instance, Ishtar & Tammuz’s[1] death and resurrection myth prove that life can still overcome death through good deeds. What makes this artwork special is not because it beautifully used a myth to present a challenge, but because of the positive impact of Logogramism symbols. 


Using the pictograph symbols made the artwork full of life. Although the pictograph symbols were not the central gravity of the artwork, adding these visual elements to a figurative scene gave the artwork the needed power to captivate art lovers.

Going back and forth between the figurative details and the pictograph symbols of the artwork, Ishtar’s Spells proves that mixing figurative elements with symbols produced a successful artwork against all odds and previous recipes for disaster artworks.

Such carefully conducted methods are like dancing between two parallel lines: no matter how far they go, their destiny is that they will never meet, yet each line continues to give the other line the necessary formula for success.    


Subject: Ishtar’s Spells

Technique: Acrylic on Hardboard Canvas

Measurements: 30 x 40 Inch

Date: 2006

Price: $25,000



[1] Ishtar & Tammuz, Ishtar and Tammuz are the protagonists of one of the world's first love stories. Ishtar was the goddess of love, war, and fertility, while Tammuz was one of many Mesopotamian gods of fertility and the patronage of herdsmen.

 


Thursday, January 5, 2023

Looking For Another Paradise

 


The Paradise That Is All About Logogramism

Any good father who works hard on raising his children to become better than him would never favor one child over another. However, for unknown reasons, most of us do!

Likewise, artworks for artists are as precious as their own children. No matter what one could say or do, a particular artwork becomes near and dear to the artist’s heart and mind. That artwork for me is Looking for Another Paradise.

What makes this artwork extraordinary is that anyone could notice the huge impact of the central cross shape on the entire scene, which is like an open invitation to explore the foundations of the Logogramism art style. It presents the famous Mesopotamian pictograph symbol that depicts an intersection (which leads to meeting and departing). The many other symbols located inside the cross, play a significant role in strengthening the core of the composition. The surrounding symbols outside the cross enrich the background with what looks like a magical atmosphere that encloses the entire artwork. The saturated harmonic colors and the many layers of texture create almost a sonata; the first part of any perfect symphony, which reflects pure transcendent feelings and unadulterated expressions.

 


            Looking for another Paradise has it all: the theme (journey – looking for a new home of hope), the technique (layers and materials), the chromatic colors, and the composition in one captivating Logogramism modern artwork style.

Subject: Looking for Another Paradise

Technique: Oil on Canvas with Mixed Media

Measurements: 27.75 x 23 Inches

Date: 1993

Price: $40,000


Friday, November 25, 2022

You & I, the Colorful Heartache!

 



THE EKPHRASTIC POEM

 You & I 

There is no doubt that ancient Mesopotamians are the creators of the writing system that dates back to the Clay Tokens period in the eighth millennium, BC. The earliest forms of writing were pictographs (meaning "picture words") where the sign resembles the object which represents: grain, hand, foot, male, female, bird, bull, pig, fish, etc. Those early symbols were made to be understood by average people. For example, male and female symbols were simply depicted by their sexual organs, while bull, pig, and dog were depicted by their head features. Using the male and female symbols has nothing to do with intimacy other than specifying gender.

My artwork, which is based on the Logogramism style, focuses on contemporary subjects and challenges from personal feelings and daily experiences to global issues. However, I have been working diligently since founding this style to improve and explore wider and deeper meanings and values for each of these most archaic Mesopotamian pictographs that were particularly created to represent daily life's needs. This kind of enhancement in visual communication is what makes my work timeless and makes its exceptional style one-of-a-kind.

 Concerning the visual elements, I used many compelling pictograph signs from the dominant ones such as male, female, and mountains, to the supporting ones, such as plants, trees, fish, snakes, water, land, and more. The technique used in achieving this artwork is a mix of oil, acrylic, and mixed media on canvas.

 In closing, this painting is inspired by my 2017 poem You & I which is about love, chaos, and beyond. If there is someone quite important in your life, then hold on to him/her, because there is nothing that rejoices or aches like love. You will never feel alive unless you are in love. “Love has no sky and no bottom”. ~ Amer

 What between the two of us

Is a sea

That has no sky

And no bottom

What between the two of us

Is love

That cannot be hidden by a thousand masks

 Subject: You & I

Technique: Oil, Acrylic & Mixed-Media on Canvas

Measurements: 36 x 36 Inches

Date: 2022

Price: $30,000


Sunday, November 13, 2022

The Darkness of My Soul

 

An Old Portrait of My Soul

Since youth, I trained myself to survive losses and reorient my life path. Being wise does not mean not making mistakes but learning from them to improve my life and my art. I was and I still am struggling with my big dreams that were never simple or easily achievable.

An artwork is not just a beautiful piece of art that some art lover would hang on the wall or from the ceiling. It is the manifestation of the artist's appeal intended to stop the chaos, enrich the life around us, and strengthen the light that can defeat the inside and outside darkness.

The Darkness of My Soul is one of many miniature artworks I started creating in the late 1980s to enhance the vision and the technique of my one-of-a-kind style, Logogramism.

           The technique I used in this artwork portrays color ink and aquarelle on texture paper. I also used a rubbing technique to create the pictograph symbol of the dark moon, especially carving tools and sharp blades that I usually use to produce a woodcut piece.

Subject: The Darkness of My Soul

Technique: Mixed Media on paper

Measurements: 10x10 Cm

Date: 1992

Price: $5,000


Wednesday, November 9, 2022

LOVER

 


LOVER

 The Unstoppable Paramour! 

Love is an intense feeling of deep affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties. When you experience deep love for another person, you want to share your entire world with her/him. When you are in love you do not care about the social roles i.e., religion, nationality, education, class difference, etc. Love is like art; it has no red lines!

Lovers is another work made using the Logogramism Art Style. However, like my other artworks, Lovers does not fall within the category of historical imitation of the pictorial writing symbols nor follow the historical detailing. It is simply an artistic artwork that unites my emotions as an artist and the specification of contemporary art techniques whether the known ones or the ones that I have created and practiced since the late 80’s.

This artwork contains four main ancient Mesopotamian pictograph symbols, a female, a servant female, a lady, and a male. Moving between these three females intended to explore life and find true love. This artwork is a mixture between traditional painting and 3D sculpture.

Subject: Lover

Technique: Acrylic on Stretcher Bars, Hard-canvas, Gravel, threads, and cords.

Measurements: 43 x 56 Inches

Date: 2022

Price: $35,000


Monday, October 31, 2022

GENESIS

 


When The Sky Above Was Not Named

e-nu-ma e-liš la na-bu-ú šá-ma-mu

 As an American artist who is a fan of the Land of Eden, the cradle of civilization, also known as ancient Mesopotamia. I found, since my youth the mythology of Enūma Eliš   (when on high/ when the sky above) aka by scholars as The Seven Tablets of Creation, an inspiring theme that could be envisioned through my artwork, especially my latest style, Logogramisim.

 Enūma Eliš or the Babylonian Genesis was an inspiring foundation for the Hebrew scribes. Enūma Eliš also confirms the accuracy of the biblical Book of Genesis. Thus, the 2022 artwork Genesis is derived from the Hebrew biblical genesis and the Babylonian myth known as Enūma Eliš. The artwork is made of a four-piece painting that depicts through the Logogramis style the first Tablet of Creation, which I created it using my unique technique of mixed media on canvas. The assembling of the Genesis artwork also expresses Babylon's Cosmology perception.

However, the four-part artwork is all about art and the way I interpret the biblical and Mesopotamian subjects into art. The assembled tower of the four-part work reflects the structure of the Great Ziggurat of Ur, where Abraham the father of the Hebrew nation, lived before being called to the promised land.

The first three layers, from bottom to top, represent Earth (Ki), Water (Abzu), and Air (Enlil). while the top part represents Heaven (Anu). Dealing with four different environments requires implicating diverse compositions, that affect the way the subject is perceived and understood. This work also requires a main mono-color perspective with additional colored strokes, that take into consideration the hue, value, and intensity of the colors as well as various textures, which give the desired impression of a smooth or rough surface.


 Subject: Genesis

Technique: Acrylic & Oil colors on Canvas, with mixed media and additional materials

Measurements: 12 x 16 each plus 6 Inches of space (Installation is required)

Date: 2022

Price: $22,000



Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Good Morning Me!


 Every Morning Is A Gift!

Every day is a gift and that is a simple fact. On the brightest or even on most rainy days, the genuine smiles of those to whom you are attached make the day!

Morning is the most important time of the day because how you spend your mornings predicts how you will spend the rest of the day. When you start your day with a positive mindset, of course, your day will most likely be successful. When it comes to choosing between starting my day with a beautiful, but toxic woman, and starting my day alone with a positive feeling, I will definitely choose greetings and cheering myself alone in the morning!

            Having love is essential, but how could you love others if you do not love yourself? Good Morning Me! is an open book to my soul that shows my inner side belief: Love and Let Love.

When it comes to the common practice that ties my work (poems & paintings), I usually write the poem and leave it to time to reshape it as an artwork. This might take weeks, months, or sometimes years to create the visual work, whether as a painting or sculpture. Sometimes it will never happen. It is a 50-50 chance!

            Good Morning Me! is one of a few exceptional artworks that were created first as a painting (in 2006) and then later (in 2009) it hit me as a poem when I was stationed overseas.

The nicely executed style I used in Good Morning Me! successfully reflects my feelings and experience on canvas. What makes this artwork so powerful is the mix of oil and acrylic colors on some areas of the canvas, as well as the freedom to add layers of different elements. It is also a mix between the geometric abstract background and the freehand implementation of the pictograph symbols. This kind of play with both geometric shapes and freehand strokes of the heavy and light brushes and other carving tools creates a captivating texture that gives the audience a challenging view of a diverse impression of unlimited beauty, tenderness, and calculated surface to work with. Although a tough process, it is fun and quite enchanting.

Subject: Good Morning Me
Technique: Acrylic on Canvas
Measurements: 36 x 36 Inches
Date: 2006
Price: $30,000 

Sunday, October 23, 2022

No More Paradise!

 


GIFTS Vs. CURSES IN THE LAND OF EDEN

             Since man has walked the Earth, the Land of Eden was the source of almost all of humanity's gifts. However, greed and envy showered this blessed land with all kinds of evil and suffering. It would seem as if this holy land is cursed!

I cannot understand how it could wars and misery take place in this ancient land that painted for the entire world the blueprint of civilization!

How it could the beauty of knowledge be in the same pot with the ugliness of violations against the basic foundations of human rights?

           Watching what the forces of evil are doing to ruin the land of Eden, especially within the more recent decades, is giving me endless heartache. It seems that the imaginary powers of the mythical deities Enki and Enlil are pointlessly struggling since the great flood of Utnapishtim[1] until now. It also seems that we, the artists, have to put an end to this chaos!

            The technique used in achieving this artwork is a mix of oil, woodcut, and mixed media, while the pictograph signs Kur (displacement & hell) and Mash (intersection) were backed with two deities' pictorial symbols (Ea and Enlil). The background composition is also derived from a Logogramic sign that symbolizes Kish (the land or universe). 

Subject: No More Paradise

Technique: Oil, Woodcut & Mixed-Media

Measurements: 50 x 50 Cm | 19.68 x 19.68 Inches

Date: 1994

Price: $20,000



[1] Utnapishtim is the Babylonian Noah, who was instructed by the god Ea/Enki to save humanity and all the world's specie from the great flood forced on Eart by the god Enlil. This mythical event was part of the Epic of Gilgamesh, regarded as the earliest surviving notable literature. 


Friday, October 21, 2022

Acknowledgment - Prof. Roy Gessford


 A man's friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.  ~ Charles Darwin

 I am deeply indebted to Prof. Roy Gessford from  www.letinthelightpublishing.com for his continuous and tireless efforts in proofreading and editing most of the Blog's articles. This endeavor would not have been possible without his sincere commitment to making the published articles on this Blog easily readable and more understandable by various art lovers and interested readers. Brother Roy, words cannot express my gratitude.

Amer Hanna Fatuhi

PS. The photo was taken at atelier a on October 15, 2022.

Friday, October 14, 2022

September Rain

 


Only September Rain Can Turn Us All Into Lovers! 

The artwork September Rain represents a profound feeling and the inspiration for September Rain was derived from a combination of one of my old poems that I wrote in my youth and September Blue, a song written and sung by one of my favorite singers, Chris Rea. The painting depicts the artist’s inner feelings, which projects him being in the middle of heavy rain of interested women but the one he cares for most is not around.

The entire surface of the canvas is filled with one single Logogramic sign that symbolizes the word female in the Pictographic writing system from the Land of Eden (ancient Mesopotamia).

This symbol sal/MI (female) is repeated in many sizes, shapes, colors, and textures to fill the entire canvas, which represents the artist's world. One can notice that, despite filling the entire surface, something is missing - and that is what makes this painting so alive, dynamic and so powerful.

September Rain is about true love that can move mountains and cross the seven seas with just one longing thought or one tender look from the one you love!


Subject: September Rain

Technique: Acrylic on Canvas

Measurements: 36 x 36 Inches

Date: 2022

Price: $30,000


Sunday, September 25, 2022

Sweet & Happy Rosh Hashanah

 


Happy New Year to You All

Shanah Tovah

Sweet & Happy

“May this time of reflection usher in a year of love, laughter, and sweet blessings for you and your family.” With Love & Respect ~ AHF