Ahmed Alsoudani was born in Iraq in 1975, and is a New York City-based painter. He fled his childhood home in Baghdad during the first Gulf War when he was 20 and lived as a refugee in Syria until he was granted asylum by the US. His experiences as a child in war-torn Iraq, and his observations as an adult of the sociopolitical complexities of the atrocities occurring in his home country, are central to his work. Alsoudani embraces the pain and sense of displacement he has experienced as an Iraqi exile in the US as a way to further his understanding of his situation through his work. His surreal compositions are shocking, grotesque, and disturbing in their portrayals of the psychological and human casualties of war. His work has been compared to that of Francisco de Goya’s series of prints entitled Disasters of War, Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, Francis Bacon for its disturbing content, and Willem de Kooning stylistically.
As is evident in Untitled, 2008, his palate is often vibrant, dominated by flesh tones and deep reds. Untitled, 2012 breaks from Alsoudani’s typical painterly imagery and vibrant, fleshy tonality to explore a detailed, cartoon-like form set against washy gestural brushstrokes. Each print in the 2012 edition is unique as the brushstrokes beneath the line etching are hand painted by the artist.