A Portfolio: Saj Issa
In today's edition of A Portfolio, we look at the works of Los Angeles-based multi-disciplinary artist, Saj Issa. Fresh off having a work with Rusha & Co at Intersect Palm Springs in The Weekenders show curated by Evan Pricco, Issa takes familiar Western objects and logos and reimagines them into these antique tile works.
I am denied of my Palestinian ancestral history and cultural existence. In response, I reinterpret domestic objects that reference my personal experiences to religion, politics, and parallels of the East and West. My work is a representation about my personal experiences of displacement, identity, and social issues.
In my work, I fabricate domestic objects to reveal an undercurrent of hostility and discomfort in the social, cultural, and political landscape. There is an inherent psychological relationship with domestic objects; they can refer to the body even when it is not present. I alter ordinary objects to express and communicate the social and political issues that I experience. My art manifests in traditional craft mediums: clay, fibers, and embroidery. This allows the narrative to directly reference to my culture through traditional domestic objects.
I want my viewers to be provoked, informed, and entertained by my work. I position myself as a sardonic commentator through overlapping hypocrisies that each culture is guilty of, yet finger points the blame in the other direction; it is reflective upon my observation as an individual situated on both sides. As I put form to these social overlaps, it is an attempt to bring awareness to viewers of their own similarities to the side they position themselves against. —Saj Issa