The faithful depiction of rationally nonsensical imagery; nothing else can reasonably describe the vivid and complex paintings developed by artist Moses Ayoub. Inspired by the Ashcan Movement that portrayed the gritty reality of urban life within New York City, Ayoub provides audiences with his own fantastical interpretations of everyday phenomena throughout the border region and beyond.
Ayoub expresses a deep interest in the people he encounters, stating that it is his intention to depict them in a manner that offers a sense of familiarity. In doing so, the artist provides a unique glimpse into mundane events that, at face-value, might not be considered worthwhile to commemorate. Yet, Ayoub’s distinctive perspective of capturing a moment in time is enhanced through its unexpected depiction on canvas. Concerning the piece Sunglasses Vendor, Ayoub’s ability to portray reality, coupled with his juxtaposition of naturalistic depiction and abstracted brushstrokes, creates a sensational piece that accurately portrays his subject matter while bordering the boundaries of imagination.
It becomes apparent that what separates Ayoub’s work is his innate ability to transform our perception of these scenes to the point where we are left to presume the factual accuracy of the scene, most noted in the artist’s piece Gorilla and Cowboy. While this piece, and others, can be deduced to a logical interpretation, why not enjoy the remarkable absurdity of the scene Ayoub has illustrated? This notion is further amplified in the other paintings in this particular series of work, such as Red and Blue Love. However, while it’s stimulating to encourage the idea of absurd and imaginative imagery within Ayoub’s work, it is imperative to note that many of his pieces often incorporate more somber messages than what can be attributed at face value. While Queen Victoria appears to be another whimsical piece within the series, knowing this artwork represents a moment from Ayoub’s humanitarian efforts during the flooding aftermath of Hurricane Harvey transforms the artwork from a humorous affair to a moment of profound vulnerability, as we see the individuals clinging to their salvaged possessions. This piece, along with others, create a noteworthy commentary on both blissful and tragic moments within the society that Ayoub inhabits.
While the subdued reality within Ayoub’s paintings are often hidden behind a facade of eccentric imagery, the overall representation provides audiences with a thought-provoking glance into the presumed monotonous motions of life.
— Alyssa Velasquez