This is a breakfast scene from last summer, when my friend Petra was visiting my studio in Tunisia — a place that is very significant to my work.
My representative and I usually think about the titles of my works and we started researching the name ‘Petra.’ It’s a town in Jordan and it used to once be a great metropolis. And I thought that’s such a good metaphor for what I’m feeling about the world now: We thought that our whole world was something so great, but then it can easily be shaken by a pandemic. When you look back at the history of great metropolises, they, in the end, have come to ruins.
To me, there’s also the personal way of thinking about this situation: you understand that something needs to break in order for something new to come out of it. The whole world is now in a situation where everybody’s plans are cancelled and they have to rethink things.
The ‘satellite image’ part represents the table, and its shapes can indicate that it kind of looks like Earth, as if it’s taken from above. I don’t really know why I love using bold and bright thick layers of color, but for me, color is always something that has so many nuances. And now that I can paint, and manipulate the colors and the shapes, there’s just something that’s magical about it.
The colors are happy ones, but sometimes the subjects are not necessarily. I don’t want to just create beautiful images. Personally, I need to have a story.
I can’t really paint if I’m not feeling good, but that doesn’t mean that I’m only painting happy things. With this particular painting I struggled a lot, because it looked good but I felt like it wasn’t ready.
So I kept changing some of the colors and shapes but then I had to end up changing everything. When it was finally ready, I just felt that all the pieces of the puzzle are complete and there’s not even a doubt about it. It was kind of like when you fall in love with someone; you just know.