• Laila Saqer, All That is Left
  • Laila Saqer, Do You Remember the Way Home, Charcoal and oil on Ram board, 23.5 X 14.5", 2021. 

  • Laila Saqer, Facing the Sun, Charcoal and oil on Ram board, 26 X 14", 2021. 

  • Laila Saqer, Growing Pains, Charcoal and oil on Ram board, 25 X 19", 2021. 

  • Laila Saqer, Little Palestine, Charcoal on Ram board, 2021. 

  • Laila Saqer, Through the Shadows, oil, spray paint, charcoal, cante, clay and glue on Ram board, 79 X 24", 2021. 

In these small drawings on cardboard I create forms whose surfaces are articulated by means of rough and abrasive pictorial space. This group of cardboard works uses a liberation of media, form, color and ground to border between identity and political art, as they are entangled to me. Specifically, I paint and draw personal and Palestinian symbols such as hands, watermelons, fingerprints, keys and keyholes, fossils, rocks and rubble to create a chaotic and expressive experience. My palette is almost exclusively black, white, red, green, and occasionally a spiritual blue. These colors are symbolic of the Palestinian flag, but red and green also posses a highly vibrational color scheme. Furthermore, these colors are archetypal to the organic (green) and violent (red) and their material is shredded and discarded– these are not only symbols of my individual identity but rather the frustrations, transformations, bleeding and destruction that many live as reality.

Similarly, the monumentality of these symbols rendered on disposable, throw away material creates a contradictory relationship not unlike the identities represented. The push and pull presented by this chaos is representative of the tensions related to having multiple, clashing identities. I am motivated by the loss of structure, the life of destruction, and the making into art what is not considered beautiful. This work is reminiscent of a symbiotic neo- expressionism, inspired by Kara Walker whose works bear some visual relation but mainly a conceptual connectedness. I wish to also create a visual experience in my artwork that is not beautiful and with dynamic relationships between space like the traditions of Anselm Kiefer, Terry Winters, and Jake Pawelek.