It has become a tradition of Mesopotamian Night event to offer the art works of distinguished Assyrian artists in live auction. Here we are introducing the Assyrian artists participating in MN-2009 event.
Paul Batou's Painting: Qateeni
Paul Batou last year offered us a painting called "Dance in Mesopotamia". This year he was inspired by our Qateeni Opera project and has offered us his interpretation of the Epic of Qateeni Gabbara. The painting below is called "The Epic of Qateeni".
I am a native Iraqi artist . A 1982 pharmaceutical graduate of the university of Baghdad , But my most enduring interest remained the world of art . I did not bother to apply for the art school in Baghdad because the school was closed to the baathist party members only “the government “ . While in pharmacy school I was inspired by many teachers and artists. My first art show in Baghdad was in 1980 , opening a door that would lead my work to be featured in several galleries , later in 1982 I was forced to work as a pharmacist and a medic during the Iran-Iraq war for five years in the army , when it ended in 1989 , I left Iraq with my family and moved from Athens to Los Angeles. Here in the United States I continue to create art and write poems and recently I published my first book in 2007 “My last thoughts about Iraq” which I shared the Iraqi’s thinking and thoughts during the long years of war , sanction the fall of the great civilization of Mesopotamia .
I am one artist among many. I am Sumerian when I read the Epic of Gilgamesh, I am Chaldean and Babylonian when I look at the Gate of Ishtar, I am Assyrian when I think of Nineveh and listen to Evin Agassi and Ashur Bet Sargis, I am Syriac when remembering the stories of genocide, and I am a Catholic or Orthodox when I read Jesus’ teachings of love.
My colors are united in one art piece reflecting the tone of the Earth, the language of the universe, the cry and pain of the oppressed people. On my canvas, the black, red and white are in harmony just like my soul. I would love my people to achieve that kind of unity.
Celebrate the art.