People often ask how I find Galleripple’s artists out there in the architecture and landscape architecture community. While our artists sometimes find Galleripple first, the answer usually involves research, invitations to professional groups, and referrals.
Certainly the fascinating people encountered and “met” along the way are the treasure in this work. These passionate creators are often working long hours in their professional careers before they can spend after-hours time pursuing their much more individual expressions. Some have transitioned to full time artist status, some are retired - all are an honor to know about and to communicate with.
Many of the talented artists encountered can’t participate in the gallery for a variety of reasons – but you still need to know they are out there. One young but prolific and profound artist comes to mind immediately.
He is New Haven, CT based Mohamad Hafez. Born in Syria and raised in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the ongoing disaster that is the Middle East has very personal and painful meaning for Mohamad. His 3D architectonic mixed media scenes scream and rage the horrors of war, injustice, and oppression.
Safety and distance serve only to highlight the nightmare – his website notes that “As a result of Hafez’s deep personal connection to his homeland and his inability to offer meaningful assistance, this calamity introduces in him a state of homesickness, hopelessness and helplessness. Hafez’s work is the physical embodiment of his deep feeling of immobility and being silenced that he shares with Syrians around the world. The graphic nature of his work aims to depict the atrocities being ignored globally while drawing attention to the urgent need to keep the dialogue alive.”.
Again quoting his website, Mohamad’s works “architecturally represent the urban fabric of the Middle East and serve as his backdrops for political and social expression.”. His works incorporate sound, Qur’anic calligraphy, light, and objects selected for overt messaging.
These pieces require more than witness, they require the question, “What do I do in response?”. I can only imagine the experience of one of Mohamad’s shows.
In the meantime, he’s welcomed me to coffee at his studio - I hope to take him up on it!