Feature: Anas Al Horani. Photography: Courtesy of Mohammad Awwad
Visual artist Mohammad Awwad tells us about his work and ideas
Mohammad Awwad is a young artist who currently works as a senior graphic designer. His latest collection, Optic Vibes, which will be exhibited at Jacaranda from 7 to 31 December, inhabits a unique dreamscape of its own. “The works in Optic Vibes address different aspects of contemporary life,” Awwad informs me. “My prints are sometimes joyful, sometimes sad. But I always aim to present my ideas in accessible visual terms.”
Innuendo, for example, depicts the world as a stage, in the middle of which stands a symbol of religious authority, which gives life with one hand and takes it with the other. Occasion deals with the dying of the Great Barrier Reef caused by manmade global warming. Immunity tackles the untouchability and dishonesty of authoritarian figures. And Propaganda shows a political figure spewing lies to eager microphones.
Stylistic and symbolic elements link all these works. Mohammad Awwad’s works owe much to symbolism, surrealism and Dada. “Salvador Dalí is one of my favourite artists,” he says, “along with Gustav Klimt, and the esteemed architect Antoni Gaudí.” Curiously, he points out: “I replace the heads of all the figures I include – human or otherwise – with some other appropriate natural element, because I consider the head to be the center of identity. Doing so is a gesture of respect.” As for the floating geometrical figures, Awwad says, “They’re my signature. I use them in all my works.”
❝“Art,” Awwad tells me, “increases social awareness, documents historical changes, improves communities by offering creative solutions, and unites diverse communities. Art unites us.”❞
Not all Awwad’s works are inspired by such topical matters as authoritarianism or natural disasters. Some, like Passion or Eupohria, are simple expressions of love or wide-eyed curiousity. Some others, like Sahara, are symbolic portraits devoid of purposeful narrative. But even in these works, Awwad maintains a thrilling and mind-expanding openness that he seeks to communicate to the viewers. “Art,” Awwad tells me, “increases social awareness, documents historical changes, improves communities by offering creative solutions, and unites diverse communities. Art unites us.” Currently, Awwad is working on a concept work about fashion victims.
To know more about Mohammad Awwad’s works, visit Mo-awwad.com