Flores de los Muertos
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30x40" | oil on canvas | 2017
This piece is the first oil painting I've done in years. I started it the day after the Muslim ban was announced. I was completely overwhelmed and in shock by the events of the day, listening to NPR and scrolling through my friends' Facebook posts. I was really struck by this story my friend, Nadia Kardan, posted:
My bodega guys in Harlem are Yemeni and Mexican. They talk to each other in a mix of Spanish, English, and Arabic. They call me "Jamila", (beautiful in Arabic) without it being weird and know my order by heart. Sometimes we talk about work. Sometimes they complain about each other to me. They ask me about my day. I ask them about theirs. They make the only and best bodega veggie burger I can find and make my lunch time that much better.
"Heard about the ban on immigrants from Yemen?" I said.
"Yep, and looks like they'll build the Mexican border wall."
"I'm Iranian, so we're all the same," I told them.
In Mexico, marigolds are thought of as flowers of the dead. The man in this painting is Mexican, and the woman is Iranian. This painting is about the death of the American immigrant experience being one of hope, new life, rebirth, and the unification of different cultures.
Signed by the artist.
The work comes with a Certification of Authenticity signed by the Co-Founder of Tappan
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