My dependence on the visual world began when I lost much of my hearing through spinal meningitis at 2 years of age. This loss was a blessing in disguise as I learned to depend on body language and reading lips to communicate. So, from my youngest days, I became sensitive to the people around me and the unspoken language revealed through compositions of the human body.

My fascination with the dichotomy of the seen and unseen in human existence has been a conceptual cornerstone for most of my career as a figurative artist. It is in the moment of hesitation when one moves into the interior space of thought, that I find inspiration. I strive to paint not only the delicate features of the external person but to capture the tender unseen presence that transcends understanding in the depth of a soul. In my experience in working with the people that I paint, I repeatedly discover the profound mystery of existence.

 Ali with cat, summer of 1979.

 Ali with cat, summer of 1979.