19 October 2021

Metro in Aleppo

I picked this up from Google somewhere a few years back and it has sat on my desktop ever since. I wanted to use it somehow in a painting but haven't yet. Put simply, it inspired me. I love the colours, the lime green and warm yellowy pale pink. I like the drawing of a simple demarcated line too, its absurd graphic certainty seems to change its mind, zigging one way then zagging another. 

It appears to be an arbitrary boundary, somewhat artificially drawn up by a cynical colonel or a Contemporary artist in New York. The ISIS soldier is dressed in existential black (and chic) Islamic sartorial cool. He seems to be contemplating the meaning of this image just like a tourist in the Louvre. 

What could he possibly be thinking? Or even feeling for that matter, whilst gazing at this marvellously obscure image, the kind of which one would love to see in the Paris Metro?

If I remember vaguely, it was taken around the time that ISIS was destroying the age-old monuments around Aleppo. Like everyone else, I was upset. But then the whole war was upsetting because of all the pointless killing everywhere. At the time I also remember feeling  that all the large Powers were responsible; the Americans, the British, The French, Russians, Saudi's, the lot. 

I remember how fooled I was by the younger Assad who often came to France and spoke intelligently on News shows with a suave European sensibility. Like many others at the time I thought to myself: 

"I am sure that he will be a more sensible 'dictator' than his ruthless father." 

But how wrong I was, how wrong we all were.... He was a beast who slaughtered his own women and children.

Then, ISIS arrived to finish off History. The awful thing about this destruction was that it was hard to lament the wreckage of the monuments while so many civilians were being murdered. I regret not visiting Syria when I had the chance back in the 1980's. 

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