CLOUD & SMOKE
The notion of war is rarely far from Karam’s work and themes. Entrenched in a country and region where war is never far away, Karam developed much of his work in parallel and reaction to this ever-present spectre. Cloud & Smoke is a body of several hundred drawings, as well as paintings produced during the Lebanese-Israeli war of 2006, when Karam had taken refuge in England with his family for a few months. The title of the series plays on the dichotomy and physical ambiguity between clouds and smoke, which represent for Karam dreams and the creative mind versus the oppressive events of war.
Playful elements that introduce question marks or hope within the images of desolation reveal Karam’s humanism combined with absurdity, a philosophical stance that permeates his work in response to tragedy or reflections on life and death.