The ghostly images of plants that cover Azzuz’s canvases are created by spraying various pigments (spray paint, dyes, inks) on top of native and invasive plant species which have been laid on top of the canvas, thus incorporating the land into each painting.
His work revolves around the de-contextualization of Yurok and Arab imagery. Starting with stories by, of, and for family members, Azzuz constructs spaces utilizing colorful ink and acrylic paint on tapestry-like canvas imbuing the work with the washy luminosity and gentle disquiet of dreams. The titles for his pieces are conversational and often include Yurok language, further highlighting traditional and contemporary culture side-by-side, and asserting Yurok people’s deep, ongoing commitment to land stewardship.
Saif Azzuz (b. 1987) is a Libyan-Yurok artist who resides in Pacifica, CA. Azzuz has exhibited widely in the Bay Area, including exhibitions at Anthony Meier Fine Arts, Pt.2 Gallery, Adobe Books, Ever Gold [Projects], NIAD, Rule Gallery and 1599dt Gallery. Azzuz is a 2022 SFMoMA SECA Award finalist and has participated in the Clarion Alley Mural Project and the Facebook Artist in Residence program.
Selected public collections include Renni Museum, de Young Museum – Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Facebook, North Carolina Museum of Art, Stanford Health Care Art Collection and UBS Art Collection.
[excerpted from Anthony Meier Fine Arts website: www.anthonymeierfinearts.com]