Welcome to my web archive, which documents my many studio projects in drawing, printmaking, and contemporary practices. My practice always floats among ideas of embodiment, attraction, alterity, alienation and deep internal psychology. For those who know me, you'll see my ongoing questions about (anti-) masculinity and experiences with chronic pain. There are aspects of ethics and the social construction of identity throughout.
Rather than an impersonal grid of artworks, the site is organized as a visual and textual experience, broken into three acts.
hank you for the generosity of your attention. dja
Reliquary is a series of photographs of handmade figurines, fabricated in plaster, wax, clay, paper, wood, and metal. Inspiration for the work draws from the idealized male form in western art history. Some muscular, some emaciated, all moving in classical gestures, the figurines were formed, then degraded, fragmented, and broken. Against the art historical ideal of the male hero, this work is a meditation on masculine vulnerability, embodiment, and fragility.
Eros in Ruin is a collection of projects - watercolors, drawings, photographs, sculptures - instigated by research of the antiquities of ancient Greece. A visual travel journal of sacred sites, the works emphasize the disturbing mix of grandeur and decay that marks Athens, Delphi, and Delos, and toys with pre-Christian images of heroism and the male ideal. The paintings are presented adjacent to Wax and Skin and statues from Reliquary, both introducing intimacy into otherwise stoic sculptural forms.
Sarx/Thanatos is an installation of travel drawings and inset photographs, organized around a “legend” that features the greek words eros (desire), thanatos (death drive), sarx (body), and logos (word/law). These conceptswere central to Sigmund Freud’s evolving conjectures about personality, and are guiding themes for Attyah’s artwork. Map pins index drawings and locations against these four poles, graphing the interaction of ideas, libido, flesh, and decay.
Zeus in Ruin is an installation of gesture drawings which rely on unplanned, automatic drawing. The central image is kinetic energy springing from the forehead of various figures, referring (in contradiction) both to Zeus’s violent bearing of Athena and to tranquil light emanating from the seventh chakra.
Doors is a series of drawings featuring male figures, abstract mark- making, and cut paper. The piece is inspired by the Greek Orthodox convention of the iconostas, rows of gold-gilt paintings of saints, which divide the (secular) congregation from the (divine) altar. In this artwork, dreaming figures interact with each other and the viewer, rendered on inexpensive, hollow-core doors - finger marks and scratches left intact. Rather than depicting archetypal portraits of the divine, The Doors are projections of internal fears and longings, expressed through fractured strokes and forms.