Paranoia 3 by Ruba Araji
Medium: Oil on Canvas. Dimensions: 140 x 120 cm

About the artwork

It is a self-portrait in every sense, not just of me but of every spectator that would recognize themselves in it. This piece of work serves as an analogy of the preservation of a dark memory. Despite its playful connotation, it arose from a phase of an internal paranoia that I went through, where the source of struggles were my own thoughts rather than other people. I wanted to capture the bitter-sweetness of going through a difficult time by portraying myself biting on the lollipop rather than enjoying it. The lollipop, with its spherical shape, symbolizes the cyclical nature of life that I think I should have savored rather than clenched my teeth over. The image is probably most familiar to people who are going through a similarly trying experience and painfully nostalgic for those who have already braved through it. In hindsight, this painting has offered a new perspective of a lingering memory of pain that has taken on a visual interpretation.

About the artist

Ruba Al Araji is an architect and illustrator\painter, born and raised in Baghdad, Iraq. Al Araji completed a B.Arch at the American University of Sharjah, and presently freelancing in architecture and design in Dubai, UAE. The artists passion and love for the creative process and expressing herself has opened a whole new journey, where she is exploring the beautiful notions of the Child Archetype. Her recent work takes inspiration from Middle Eastern folklore and mythology, particularly of Ancient Mesopotamia; a fascination she nurtures, where her family originates.