The community art project is based on my Past & Present experiences of figures in history and current social structure inspired by living in South Florida from an immigrant’s perspective of the American dream. The new proposed painting series stems from my interest in histories, human emotion, allusions to place, and memories by borrowing elements from history and art intertwined with the American experience.
The paintings include figures from different periods of human history from Paleolithic Europe fertility goddess Venus of Willendorf and onward to present time. The figures in the paintings are primarily of women in history by placing them in a composition along Florida’s current social structure and landscape with emphasis on the importance of Women’s role and contributions throughout history. The work will be created in a semi-abstracted style with a focus on the form, color, and space. The new painting series will have iconic undertones with a contemporary approach referencing women imagery from the Paleolithic Europe, ancient Mesopotamian, Assyrian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and different art period that feminism was the focus including Baroque, Renaissance, modern art and more recently the influence of the American culture on the art making.
The past and present of “Living the Dream” make the case for the way art and its language of color, line, and shape enrich a viewer’s experience of the work and offer a delicate balance between representation and abstraction, mirroring the real and unreal ways in which he paints lived experience. Moreover, his myriad mediums including acrylic, colored pastel, and spray paint further referencing painterly collage in a more experimental and risk-taking approach. The new work features historical and modern figures, social commentary, fashion motifs, everyday objects, pop culture ads, cartoons, film, and Florida flora and fauna that inhabit flat, kaleidoscopic surfaces. The artist’ dialogue with the traditions of the past interwoven with his participation in current global artistic discussions. This simultaneous engagement with the past, present, and future speaks to a singular creative presence. The new work is charged with a rawness produced by an ambiguous method to narrative and a fractal, unfinished approach to representing the subjects of the paintings. Characters appearing to piece themselves together from aggregated painterly gestures, these forms become figures of power and personal freedom through their abjection.
Khawam’ boundless visual appetite for making pattern paintings with women in history and modern figures that feature an ever-expanding list of quotidian motifs make unlikely visual combinations within expansive fields of exuberant color. He takes pleasure in variety, and fully investigates each of his obsessions before moving to another painting. He trusts that the fundamental underpinnings of painting that gives him the freedom to depict anything he want, and the democratizing surfaces of his canvases work without illusion, perspective, logical scale shifts, or atmosphere. With his blunt yet lyrical approach, each painting has the feel of a complete thought that engages his artistic rich and raucous free association.
Through his index of images, from childhood memories of historical figures to everyday objects seen around him, he chronicles his life and the broader culture, synthesizing his visual material. Some of his influences span from Henri Matisse and the Pattern and Decoration movement to Peter Doig and Chris Ofili. In a palette that ranges from restrained to vivid colors, he paints the canvases on the wall or face up on the floor, employing thinned-out acrylic, and utilitarian brushwork to emphasize aspects of motifs. His process is improvisational and loose, at times inviting accident and chance into the works, as well as asserting an equal relationship between artist and material.