Internationally-acclaimed Sabhan Adam (1973) obsessively explores the overwhelming pains of the world and depicts the harsh reality of living in its most stirring animism.
Partially human, partially beast, his stunning creatures which are possessed with human anguish, are rich in primal brutality. The truth is a harsh one for humanity as a whole and Adam is convinced there is no sense in attempting to soften the blow. “When there is so much pain inside you and around you, it is impossible to just draw flowers and birds.”
Instead Adam paints male figures, endlessly, hauntingly and rebelliously to challenge societies’ superficial notions of beauty and to undress human weaknesses such as vanity and denial. Grabbing us by the throat, each figure captivates, appeals, monopolizes the mind.
At times, their faces are tormented with pain, reminding us of Adam’s agonizing circumstances back home and in our region at large. Other times, the figures are confident, cynical, upbeat, and almost arrogant, as though defying circumstances.
Sabhan Adam succeeds in turning the grotesque and the monstrous into extraordinary immortal humans with infinite compassion of beauty.