25 September 2013, Cervera de los Montes
I haven't been working very regularly lately. My son started school this month and the first week he had only one hour class per day and last week a half of an hour more. I've been more a cab driver than an artist. This week I'm finally back in business and working on several projects before the routine breaks again - 15th of October I'm off to my two-month residency in Beirut.
I'm still obsessioned with the red monchromes and I've been trying to paint a big canvas with enamel but I don't manage to get it enough glossy and even. My wife had an idea that I should ask an automotive painting workshop to do it. I thought it was a stunning solution and I went to the place where they have fixed damgages of my vehicle but, unfortunately, they didn't get what I wanted them to do. I must try another place and not to mention that what I'm doing is art - but just tell that I want a red square to be painted on a canvas.
SHARE YOUR COKE WITH MARIO DRAGHI
22 September 2013, Cervera de los Montes
There are thousands of artworks about Coca-Cola and that's why I've tried to avoid it as a too obvious content or target. Now share Coke campaign started in Spain - they print the most common first names on the bottles and cans - and I felt that I had to do something. I went to Carrefour a got some soda and wrote on them with acrylic color second names to accompany the printed first name.
This is my list that will be continued: Diego Maradona, Julia Roberts, Carlos the Jackal, Teresa of Calcutta, Silvia of Sweden, Manuel Noriega, Rafael Nadal, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Miguel de Cervantes, Isabel the Catholic, Paula Abdul, Oscar Wilde, Alejandro Sanz, Marina Abramobic, Mario Draghi, Eva Longoria, Julio Iglesias and Salvador Allende.
I SCREWED UP THE KETCHUP
15 September 2013, Cervera de los Montes
The monochrome painting series 57 Varieties has been damaged by my unprofessional packing. I wrapped it in bubble plastic and crated it in June, before going to vacation, but finally it was shipped in August to Stockholm for the Carnegie Art Award jury meeting.
I was disappointed because the jury saw it inside the the wrapping, because the work was too big to install, but maybe it was better - I was told that the enamel surfaces have been harmed by the plastic now when they finally checked the condition of the work.
I was sure that the paint was dry when I wrapped the works but I was wrong. Now I have no idea what to do. It makes no sense to send them back here to be repaired because they wouldn't be dry for the shipping before the opening of the exhibition in November. Should I fly to Stockholm? I can't afford that. Maybe I send them paint and their conservator can fix them?In the future, I paint only with acrylic colors.
ICE CREAM AND BOMBS IN DAMASCUS
09 September 2013, Cervera de los Montes
I receive everyday several messages from foreign friends who advice me to leave Syria immediately. To my surprise, I was just granted a Schengen visa for two years. I'm going to visit Berlin in October for my work but I'm not escaping anywhere.
Many people are camping as human shields around the Mount Qasioun, near the presidential palace but I prefer to go to Bakdash ice cream parlour with my husdand. I feel like saying goodbye to all this kind of things in my country. Somehow, the life is still goes on in Damascus and people want to fight against the Islamists and the United States.
To tell you the truth, I'm not afraid of the American bombs because I believe that death will come any way in any place but I'm scared that the chaos the bombing provokes and permits the Islamists enter to the city and massacre people. In that case I really don't know what I have to do - commit a suicide before they catch me? Anyways, I hope that Mr. Obama is not that crazy. The whole Middle East will burn down, if his troops attack us.
I hope that I'm alive in October and we can meet in Beirut when you are there in residence.
Kisses from Damascus, Iman
TOO BIG TO WIN
03 September 2013, Cervera de los Montes
I was one of the 17 shortlisted Nordic painters for the Carnegie Art Award but, unfortunately, I didn't win the huge one million Swedish crown prize. The losers must accept their defeat.
Yesterday, the Carnegie organization contacted me asking for a high resolution picture of my work 57 Varieties, shipped to Stockholm, for the catalog. I was surprised because I had understood that all the works of the final stage had been installed for the meeting of the jury in deciding the winner of the contest - and then photographed.
I was told that my work (400x250cm, composed of 57 parts) was too big to install due to their limited resources and it was placed on a table. They must have the biggest table of world and the judges were lifted to the ceiling - or the work was in piles.
Obviously, it's a difficult to compete with a stacked painting against other paintings hang on a wall. I think that now I wasn't given an equal chance to win. I haven't seen myself the work installed either - my studio has also limited walls but I'm sure that it would be a very powerful experience to see it on a wall. Lamentably, the jury wasn't offered that experience.
Ironically, I'm best known for my tiny A4 size drawings and now when I finally did a museum size work, it's considered too big.