Rotten Love Tomato which includes an art installation and poetry by visiting Romanian artist Florin Dan Prodan is an exploration into the poems, tweets, phone and Facebook messages between the rise and fall of a love and creative relationship of two poets, one from Romania and the other from the US that have different cultural backgrounds, ars poetica and life views. We invited two NYC artists who have strong connections to Romania to collaborate on Prodan’s theme.
Inas Al-soqi is a half Palestinian half Romanian woman with a unique sense of humor towards worldly sensibilities. Her collages play with the dichotomy between the sanctioned and the unsanctioned, and that of folk and fine art.
Lucian Samaha, born in Beirut is a prolific photographer and has the distinction of being the first digital photographer during hist time as the Marketing Manager for Eastman Kodak Company. Samaha considers himself a “post-conceptualist” artist where he relished the adventure of photographing and gathering materials from the real world and then finds inspirations from them in a finished project.
Florin Dan Prodan
Romanian poet and artist Florin Dan Prodan (1976) is the founder of the literature and art group Zidul de Hartie. As a poet, he has published among other books, On the Road. travel poems (Shambhala Press, Kathmandu, 2012) and The Facebook Poems (Cartea Romaneasca, Bucharest, 2017). His poems are translated into Spanish, German, Korean, Ukrainian and French. In English, he has been published in two poetry anthologies and in magazines including Plume. Florin runs two artists and writer residency program in Romania and Kyrgyzstan. As a visual artist, he has exhibited in galleries and art spaces throughout Europe and Asia.
Inas Al-soqi (https://www.inasart.com)
The role of the artist is often the one of the outsider, just on the fringes of society, looking in. Half-Palestinian, half-Romanian artist Inas Al-soqi has claimed this role with conviction, filling her collages with the kind of political satire unique to someone with the perspective of a permanent foreigner. Sometimes confronting, sometimes uncomfortable, always intriguing, Inas’ work is that of an astute observer, willing to point out the flaws of societies past and present.
Lucien Samaha (http://luciensamaha.net)
Born in Beirut in 1958, Samaha has been photographing his life since he took one of the first photography courses ever offered in a High School Art curriculum in the US in 1975. Photography has been Samaha’s companion throughout his many careers, including that of a Flight Attendant for TWA, a Marketing Manager for Eastman Kodak Company (where he had the distinction of being the first digital photographer ever), and a world famous DJ on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center.
He considers himself a ‘post-conceptualist’ artist where he relishes the adventure of photographing and gathering materials from the real world and then finds inspiration from them in a finished project. He is currently consolidating his archive of over a million visual assets. He has shown at the Museum for Modern Art in Frankfurt Germany, and was a Nam Jun Paik Award Finalist in 2004 in Germany, among others. To date, he has self-published over 70 photography books of varying genres from street photography in different cities to esoteric themes found in his archive’s categories.