Inspiration Art

The Message Of Art

  • Summary / Author
    TheNewAfrica

Asad Faulwell‘s massive canvases channel the ornate appearance of tapestries or kilim, weaving together intricate designs from paint, paper and pins. Yet the repeating patterns flowing in and out of the foreground are interrupted by decidedly darker, psychedelic imagery: the faces of phantom women, female combatants from the Algerian War of Independence.

Algeria.  The faces of phantom women populate the frame, their faces and bodies obscured at times by neon adornments that creep around limbs and back into the canvases’ backgrounds. You might not recognize the female visages, but the series, “Les Femmes D’Alger,” centers on Algerian female combatants from the Algerian War of Independence. The blacked-out eyes and whimsically cloaked figures are meant to belong to women who took part in the guerrilla attacks that took place from 1954 to 1962 in French-occupied Algeria.

Faulwell was inspired by the controversial, Gillo Pontecorvo-directed film “The Battle of Algiers.” In the 1966 movie, members of Algeria’s National Liberation Front (FLN) recruit three women to enact a terrorist attack in the French quarter of Algiers.

 

“They recruited women because they could pass through check points without detection and would not raise suspicion when planting bombs,”

Faulwell recalled to HuffPost.

The canvases of “Les Femmes D’Alger” combine the positive and negative images of these women that persist today, rendering their figures as both sinister and auspicious, shadowy yet vibrant. As the title notes, the works also channel the treatment of women by the old masters of art. Referencing pieces by both Eugene Delacroix and Pablo Picasso, Faulwell turns away from art history’s tendency to eroticize the female body and instead depicts the women as warriors.

Please continue to read The Huffington Post’s article by their Senior Arts & Culture Editor .

About the artist

Of his own work, Faulwell says:

“My work explores the relationship between political faith and religious faith through the historical examination of the political climate in the post World War Two Middle East. Through works about various rulers and movements in the region as well as female Algerian freedom fighters I attempt to re-examine these important moments in history while delving into the conflicts between religion and politics at this time while also acknowledging the similarities religion and politics share. Many of my works reference Islamic, Jewish and Christian art as well as more contemporary methods of painting, digital media and collage.

My works combines digitally manipulated photographs of historical figures cut out into geometric and organic patterns with carious elements of abstract painting. Some of the collage elements are flat others have dimensionality. Some of the paint is applied in layers of flat thin washes or opaque line work while other elements are applied with texture and dimensionality.

Through my work I hope to re-examine history while also touching on the broader social, religious and politics issues related to these historical events that still effect our lives today.”

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Please get more information about Asad Faulwell on his website.