I’m Dutch/Egyptian, retired, but I was a businessman, teacher, inventor and I love challenging tasks. I’m completely self-taught, I never studied art or took any courses. I would say that my personality was formed in an Eastern society and has also been changed and affected by a Western one. My art represents the pain my family and I went through due to my daughter’s chronic illness, and it is inspired by her. One of my first jobs in Amsterdam was working as a cleaner at the Van Gogh museum, I was very impressed by the art and it helped my art career.
In 1999, my daughter Amal was born with one of the most difficult diseases, Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). It’s a rare chronic disease where the skin is as weak and fragile as a butterfly’s wing. Blisters and open wounds are formed by the slightest touch. She is in constant pain, all the time. There is no cure for it and we’ve been struggling and fighting this disease every day since. It was a constant struggle to keep going and to reach a safe shore. My art was born a year later because of the enormous emotional and mental turmoil my wife, my kids and I went through dealing with this disease. I had never drawn or painted before, but somehow on her first birthday, I started making these strange drawings. Amal has become the centre of our attention and life ever since. You’ll find that my paintings are very random, but controlled. In every painting, I try to express myself to show the viewer what I’ve created and what I mean. However, most people who see my paintings, also see something different in them. My art can be seen from many different perspectives, but they all represent finding beauty within chaos and despair. Recently, after many years, I’ve been told that my art style is classified as “expressionism”.