"THE FARTHER YOU GO, THE CLEARER THE TRUTH YOU SEE."
Sinan Hussein (born in 1977), in Baghdad, Iraq. From a large family, he is the middle child of eight brothers and two sisters. He describes having a very rich childhood in experiences. He had lots of pets and he worked in his family farm and later had his own small business selling videocassette movies in his neighborhood and to friends, this proving to be a thriving experience for his age.
At the age of 14, Sinan practiced art by sketching portraits of friends and family. His artist and musician father recognized the talent and encouraged Sinan to continue in his art journey. After several years of self-studying and observing the classic, the modern and the contemporary artists, Sinan joined the Iraqi Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad, and here he took his talent to the next level and obtained a Bachelor degree in Fine Arts.
Soon after graduating in 2004, he left Baghdad and migrated to several countries where each of them had its own influence on Sinan’s artistic character. He feels mostly affected by Kuwait where he lived several years and this left its obvious imprint on his work leading him to his first steps of where he stands today. Transformed from one phase to the other, resulting in the contemporary artist he is today. He currently lives in the United States where he experienced solitude by all means. This allowed him to get to know himself more and to engage in a continuous conversation with his soul where he finds something similar in the context and subjects of his paintings.
Since early 2004 he participated and exhibited in many important art shows in the Middle East, Europe and the United States. His artwork is collected by Middle Eastern and Arab gulf royalty, governments and private collectors around the world and he has done more than 17 solo exhibitions.
Hussein’s works of art do not hesitate to show us a grotesque view at reality, with a subconscious need to interact with the intricate details that accompany our everyday life. Hussein provides us with a whimsical view at the world, but at the same time gives us the opportunity to reflect and hold on to our deepest truth…without regret, without remorse, and quite simply without care. All in all, a resurrection of feelings that we didn’t think (or care) were possible to exist. He takes us on a ride through our subconscious and conscious mind, forcing us to escape any doubts that reality can bring about. That’s Hussein – a communicator of the past, present, and future – all encompassed in any of his works of art.
“I see, I feel, I listen and I speak with the souls in between the two worlds. They are surrounding me, they are everywhere. They leave our reality trying to search for new haven, a better place full of joy and friends. Yet, they are lifeless there because their bodies are still here. Yes, I am in between two worlds. "
Q. Do you remember the first art you made? What was it and how old were you?
A. My first art was a sketch of a fish I did at the age of 10. That's when I decided to be an artist and it was my ultimate life decision. Challenging myself to never give up, loving the satisfaction I get from painting to new possibilities to create everything different and fresh. Each painting pulls me to a new creation driving me literally to be fused to the art world. You see, art hunts my spirit with passion.
Q. What have you had to sacrifice for this career?
A. Ok let’s face it, I lost a few things due to solitude, but Art itself is an enormous joy that a human being could ever feel.
Q. Tell us about your particular style and how you came to it?
A. My style is the distinctiveness which I see as the hidden reality of the world we live in. There is nothing perceived nor tangible, everyone is suffering from a state of loss and escaping from a truth toward hidden imaginations. I consistently search toward the reasonable cause of the rational subjects, it has nothing to do with the truth, only sabotaging the concepts of society and changing the area of intellectual perception, and also sensual.
The characters in my artworks are not strange in logic to what’s already there in this world, but they are actually souls formed in forms that join all creatures in a single form, maybe reshaping the congenital composition of Humans, Animals and Plants too, for this reason, they are isolated.
My internal conflict lives in the characters of my works between reality and the nonreality as a recognition that they are exotic and oppressed from society. They are not escaping from the painful reality of the world but they are the Actual reality of it. Adopting all aspects of this society in a sarcastic way, cause reality actually forms sarcasm and this is the world we live in bearing the mistakes of others as a huge theatre where they take roles and do better in this part than humans as they understand the truth more.
Q. Who are your biggest influences? Are you inspired by the work of your peers or anyone else in particular?
A. The situation happens automatically when my eyes catch a glimpse of nature or the reality I live in or from the studies of former Artists’ work or for example a trip that leaves traces in my mind and soul, a city, a child, an appealing plant in the streets, everything that is real could affect me in a positive way. I may become a fan of the project of some peers, but not affected in a personal way. In fact, many artists follow my line and style, especially in Iraq. Many there, described me as a starter of the modern contemporary.
Q. What does your art aim to say?
A. My aim is to cure the social, political and even nature issues that society is having. And adding a new perspective of usual thinking, by having a conversation with the audience through my work and answering their questions through my hidden worlds and characters.
Q. Is the artistic life lonely? What do you do to counteract it?
A. Art itself is a form of solitude, a special spiritual dialogue, and I mastered it to the point of getting addicted to it. However, my fiancée plays a major part, she often adds so much beauty to my art.
Q. Apart from art, what do you love doing?
A. Cooking, traveling to new cities, discovering new cultures and visiting museums. I am passionate about reading books, especially in subjects of philosophy, listening to classical music is part of my day to day routine while painting and finding harmony between the melodies and the brush. I also enjoy practicing yoga because it gives me serenity and mindfulness.
Q. What is your philosophy in matters of art?
A. Art is part of an artist’s spiritual beliefs, where the logic of imagination resides, as Descartes says “I think; therefore, I am.”
Q. What does 'success' mean to you?
A. Success means presenting something different from the usual and affecting the Audience and Art lovers internationally
Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given, and by who?
A. A quote by Socrates, “Wisdom starts with wonder.” This changed the perspective of my Art completely, as there is no successful artwork without wondering. So wonder is a standard for every important Art work existed.
Q. What advice would you give to the next generation?
A. Avoid copying or imitating others; that's a disaster nowadays. Listen to your intuition and let your soul guide you, and you will never fail.