When we need it the most we are told not to touch. Touching suddenly became the most scary and dangerous thing. After 100 days of self quarantine during the New York State lockdown because of Covid-19 pandemic, I question among many other anxieties that whether we can ever be comfortable to touch and play with each other again. In a couple of weeks’ time we, the lonely crowds of the metropolises has become more strangers and lonelier than ever before. Social distancing, isolation and then quarantine on top of the unknown future made us realize the definition of freedom all over again. How free we were and everything was easy even though we were not aware of it.
I am an immigrant woman who, after a series of tragedies, decided to change everything in my life. Injustice, inequality, corruption, conservatism, everything became unbearable. First I quit my job as a landscape architect and went back to school for painting. Then I left everything; family, friends, my dream school, and immigrated.
Maybe it was an escape, migrating to the other side of the Atlantic. Might be the hope for more freedom. Or just to start over. While dealing with longing, and craving for emotional comfort my art has become about that place in time of forgetting everything beyond that emotional paradise. I started to ask myself what makes me keep going? What makes me happy?
My recent paintings orchestrate multiple figures entangled with each other surrounded by inflatables and toys, painted in vivid colors with details of textiles, clothing and patterns. Away from any kind of negativity figures enjoy the moment; freedom and love despite all the threats surrounding them outside of their confined environment. But they are still aware of the short lifespan of that perfect harmony that will pop like a balloon soon. I use inflatables as a metaphor for our short lived contentment, the ephemerality of pure joy and happiness. They also represent the false sense of security, and questions our constant drive for satisfaction and pleasure.
Observing the loneliness and need for attention, accompanied with consumerism frenzy globally, my art evolved from being about my own personal crisis, to capturing the universal emotional state, especially during the current global and domestic social and environmental problems.