Skip to content Skip to footer

All the Eyes

All the eyes is the third design from the We are Animals I series, a series of pieces portraying great minds wronged by humanity’s thoughts. This piece shows Abū al-ʿAlāʾ al-Maʿarrī, an Arab philosopher, poet, and writer from the 10th century of the common era. He was a controversial rationalist of his time, using reason as his primary source of truth and denning all religious and esoterical thinking, challenging work in a very mythological-based generation.

Al-Maʿarrī became blind when four due to smallpox; later, he referred to himself as the hostage of two prisons, his blindness, and his home, which he rarely left. As he grew older, he traveled to some Syrian cities, learning by heart the manuscripts and giving lectures on poetry and rhetoric. Al-Maʿarrī was a vegan and wrote some of what most likely are the first mentions of a vegan worldview. He believed in the sanctity of life, urging that no living creature should be harmed and opposing all killing of animals and the use of animal skins for clothing. He never married and died in May 1057 in his hometown, aged 83, a very extreme age for his time.

I No Longer Steal From Nature.

— Al-Maʿarrī (c. early 1000)

One of the demonstrations of religious intolerance for its rational thinking happened in early 2013 when Islamist militants in northwest Syria decapitated a statue of the poet, created in the 1940s by a young Syrian sculptor, Fathi Mohammed.

Something that inspires me a lot in Al-Maʿarrī works is the Luzūmīyāt, Necessities, an extensive collection of verses that contrasts with traditional pieces by its irregular structure together with the opinions it contains. I always try to approach art in a distinctive form, outside common sense, since art, for me, is an idea that is an inseparable part of a world in which reality is not directly accessible to the eye. Reality is a collection of staggering layers, permanently inaccessible without rationality.

Leave a comment