• CARAVAN Arts

Qusay Tariq: Pandemic-Inspired Art


© Qusay Tariq, Quarantine, 2020, Acrylic on cardboard,43 x 28 cm

With some 2.6 billion people around the world in some kind of lockdown, we are arguably conducting the largest psychological experiment ever. This will result in a secondary epidemic of stress-related physiological viruses in the latter half of 2020. As a result of this virus, the planet entered a state of terror and fear. When we confront a perceived threat, our physical response is often referred to as a “fight or flight” response. One either prepares themselves to fight or run away. This painting demonstrates a nightmare-like window into the situation that the average person is often finding themselves in now. It is a glimpse of the choice-less situation that this current fear has trapped us in - neither “fight or take flight.” In this painting, I use the symbol of the crow which is has been used historically as representing the witness of destruction and evil…as both a physical and moral symbol. I believe that it is in the true witness of human actions that the conscience of humanity is found. And while these insights are not new, the sheer scale of these lockdowns and quarantines is. This disaster, has affected every life in some way. It is not just a quarantined village or town or region…but the world. Therefore, I believe everyone can relate to this painting in one way or another.


Qusay Tariq is an Iraqi-American artist, teacher, writer and human rights activist. For his Master’s degree he studied the art of jurisdiction and the influence of politics on art. He has authored 22 books on a variety of topics – biography, history, religion, etc. He has exhibited his art in the Middle East and USA and has received various awards.

@qusaytarq