Pandemic and more art by Salam Arasto

Pandemic , 2020
46 x 66 inch (h x w)
charcoal on canvas

40"x 60"

This drawing on canvas was created when we started watching impacts of CoronaVirus first in New York in March, 2020. It was shocking and scary. I was numb and shaken. I wrote-
This is the world war three
Of 21st Century
Our enemy is invisible
Attacking us from front and back, left and right
You cannot use your top of the line weapons
Technical Intelligence or diplomacy
Helpless we either surrender or die…
And the next day I pulled out a large canvas piece 40”/60” nailed it on the wall and drew with charcoal, the destruction caused by these attacks from the invisible enemy Covid19.
My works are lyrical, spiritual, figurative, and calligraphic. My paintings reveal stories of unity in diversity, peace and joy and celebration of life. Whether in paintings or sculptures, the faceless figures represent the universal oneness of all humanity.
Line is a very important component in my work. I celebrate energy and movement of line in my paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Since my exposure to Arabic calligraphy during my stay in the Middle East, my line has become more lyrical, melodious, and powerful.
The lines I create represent the spiritual energy that emanates from a soul. I use the same stroke of the brush for Arabic letters as I do for suggesting human forms. Both are fluid as if temporary expressions of the eternal universal energy.
Arabic Calligraphy, miniatures, and the folk art of Islam and the Hindu tradition continue to influence my work today. I have tried to bring together Eastern spirituality and Western techniques of painting learned over the years. Through the contrasting elements in my work, I yearn and search for unity, and when that unity or balance is achieved, it brings about tranquility and joy.
I am blessed because I was born with the urge to create and a love for God. These two gifts have been sources of eternal joy and a constant flow of positive inspiration in my life. My mission is to spread this joy and blessings that I have received among all through my work.

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