Utopia: Haiku Series

Through unguarded streets,
curious minds take steady strides—
girl, imagine that!

*

Inside our snow globe,
every child is fast asleep
away from the cold.

*

Their hazy eyes stare
as I wear a content smile
on my warm deathbed.

 

Artwork by Lee Merrion

Floralscapes by TIC

Born in 1982 in Salinas, California, Tammy Ikram (known as TIC) has maintained a studio in the broader Los Angeles area since 2013. She has also taught private drawing classes in both Orange County and London, England. Tic has exhibited in Hollywood, San Diego, Orange County, and Beverly Hills, and has upcoming exhibitions in the The Oculus at World Trade Center in New York and Tokyo, Japan. She will also have her paintings heavily featured on Season two of Selling Sunset on Netflix. She currently lives in greater Los Angeles with her husband, son and new daughter.

“My paintings explore space, movement, and the ideals of femininity. The fantasy of escaping from the mundane into a world filled with vibrant colors and verdant gardens of elegance captures my imagination.The sense of freedom I feel in that space directly feeds the emotional energy of my paintings. I use floral structures as my compositional framework in order to take the viewer into a state of wonder, beauty, and seduction.”

Hard Candy
oil on linen, 24 in x 36 inches, 2019.

 

Wabi Sabi
oil on linen, 18 in x 24 inches, 2019.

 

Crowley’s Garden
oil on linen, 30 in x 40 inches

alternate love letter

dear ________________,

with you i have learned love
is utopia & dystopia at the same time.
so love is Earth
& we are highly skilled to kill
it. like damn, what did you think? 
all the god in the gold
chains round our necks 
could make us beautiful, & holy 
& not human? we are
just bodies, drums
of water & chemicals & constructions, paper
-skinned. little marbles
of World rubbing
against each other, how
acid leaks from a cloud’s 
cheek more than rain. all this,
to say: we are ending.

 

Painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, “Two Calla Lilies on Pink”, 1928

The Empty Space You Left Behind, & Others by Paul Anagnostopoulos

Paul Anagnostopoulos is a New York City based painter who graduated from NYU with a BFA in 2013.

“These paintings are heavily inspired by the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. Delphi was the holiest place in ancient Greece. It was where the Oracle made her predictions and also the site of the Pythian Games, a precursor to the modern olympics. Along the mountain path were the many treasuries and offerings to the gods. These works share this same notion of honor and devotion, performing multiple layers of competition: the strongest heroes, the richest cities, the most exuberant tributes- the best of the best march their way up this holy mountainside in a display of ritualized adoration. With nods to the same motifs of excess, kitsch, and camp often found in ancient displays of worship, this series serves as a contemporary temple devoted to the celebration of queer intimacy, history, and life.”

This Empty Space You Left Behind
2019, acrylic and oil on canvas, 40 x 30 inches

Started Out With A Kiss
2019, acrylic and oil on canvas, 18 x 36 inches

Taste The Fruit Of Me
2019, acrylic on wood panel, 8 x 9 inches


Touch My Cheek Before You Leave Me
2019, acrylic and oil on canvas, diptych 24 x 18 inches each

We Can Be Us
2019, acrylic and oil on canvas, 36 x 24 inches

Drown In My Desire For You
2019, acrylic and oil on wood panel, diptych top: 10.25 x 12 inches, bottom: 20.75 x 24 inches

in a utopia

in a utopia
i would have

more time

to write this

***

in a utopia
would i even need to write this
and submit it for publication?

***

in a utopia
would i need to
get
published?

***

in a utopia
would writing
and reading
be of
any use
or necessity?

***

in a utopia

***

Artwork by Francis Picabia

Planting M&Ms

To make up for the lack of peacocks in Peacock Grocery below my apartment building, me and my Cousin Anan would buy mini M&Ms to cheer ourselves up, before our Ammas took us to walk in and out the little streets between the buildings and villas of Passport Road, Abu Dhabi. Don’t worry, Amma laughs, we have the passport to walk this street. On the way, me and Anan would pour M&Ms into each other’s hands, offerings of our cousinhood, like communion bread we were not old enough to partake in yet at St. Joseph’s church.

One day, a red M&M falls into the patch of empty sand between my apartment building and the sidewalk. It’s like a seed, maybe it will grow. Anan smiles wide-eyed as he plants his favourite green M&M next to the red and I drop a yellow one a few steps away because my science textbook says roots need space. Everytime we walked by that sand patch since, we’d watch for trees dripping in rainbow M&Ms, pigeons and mynas nesting upon its branches and dream of plucking a new yellow or green or blue or red M&M off to bite into its chocolate insides.

But the harsh heat of the Gulf is not for M&Ms and so the trees did not grow. With childhood persistence, we kept dropping them into the sand patch, hoping that like the M&Ms, we too could take root in the Gulf we called home.

Artwork by Helen Levitt, “Cops and Robbers.”

“Talking Drum” by Chuka Okoye

Chuka Okoye is a self taught artist from Anambra state, Nigeria. He seeks to capture visual elements of African culture, using art as a strong medium to showcase the beauties in the ways of life and other aspects that have gained little attention yet are deep and attractive. The dominant abstract style in the painted figures has been influenced by other artists of African descent. Okoye is greatly stirred by the works Sandorfi Istvan, George Inness and others.

“Talking Drum”
acrylic on canvas, 2 x 3ft

The talking drum tries to capture in abstract style, the popular use of this musical equipment among the Yoruba indigenous peoples of Nigeria. The pitch and prosody of such a drum can be regulated to mimic the human voice, hence its name.