Amar Dawod is an Iraqi painter currently living in Sweden.
“’If one day I decide to abandon painting, nobody will feel its impact; neither will society recognize the need for my work.’
That is what the great Danish artist Per Kirkeby said in reference to the art of painting. Here, I cannot but declare my full support for his position. We still have illusions, embedded in our imagination about art. Many commentators portray it as a very egoistic need—aiming to satisfy the painter and not necessarily an audience. In fact it is possible for painting to not even have an audience, even though, at its height, it proactively engaged in the making of a civilization, in the sense that it persists outside of the paths of history and its intentions. There are those who think of art as equivalent to ‘breathing air.’ Their dogmatic fantasies lead them to the perception that art is capable of changing history and raising societies. I would say that indeed it can, but only for the seeker who wholeheartedly embraces it, assimilates its hidden secrets and claims the keys to unlock its inner world. The endeavor alone does not however guarantee the success of the quest. To further the analogy, some of the discovered keys could be ineffective; the unveiled secrets could be inconsistent with the core essence of painting and its accomplishments. Painting can be a unique and different translation of the world. Its function is not simply to turn perplexing and intriguing concepts into more graspable thoughts. From that which is ‘incomprehensible’ it is able to create a new visually tangible entity capable of numerous facets. It can be joyful or nightmarish, comforting or painful, hateful or pacifying, bewildering or nauseated, vague or obscure. And all this whilst never manifesting itself as a comprehensible entity.
What I tell you now is no secret. My art, my painting, has in a way spared me the pain which I associate with human existence. It is in a way like my own space in which I breathe the air from my virtual and different life. Does it mean that I hate this world? If so, it is because humanity has organized the world in a devastating way. People are preoccupied with satisfying their worries and needs, tirelessly continuing to pursue them, even if this results in the murder of others and the desolation of all the flowers and trees in the world. What kind of darkness do we live in? How many stars have we extinguished? Painting, as a reaction to all this, is a kind of liberation and thrilling road, even if that road is sometimes bumpy.
Pleasure, in its physical and spiritual form, is among humanity’s central goals; the problem however lies in how to attain it! I tell you, there is a great deal of pleasure in painting, because it strives for man’s ultimate dream: the unity of the world’s phenomena, a unity structured on doing away with all the existing dichotomies.”
Some of Amar Dawod’s work:
Amar Dawod’s Website: