How can any work of art fully capture what exists beyond the work—personal experience and emotion? I aim for evocative imagery that charges the soul and pierces our beings. I have found that the determination to live (love, really) is mirrored in nature. The rose, for example, lives despite the crushing boots of time and war. So do women, despite having their hearts trampled on, wits driven into walls of insanity, and wisdom thrown asunder as female folly. Women constantly thread the needle of hope. They have laid bare man’s truest follies, his deepest lies, and his most terrible terrors. With this in mind, I see the female form, her hidden world, her inner rose in bloom. In my painting Flowers, conceived as a commentary on the women of my Syrian homeland and their generativity, there is...

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