‘The black square of the Islamic State is the image that forms the beginning and end of the ever-expanding caliphate. The image that comes before and after all others: the end of the immoral image feed of Western heresy, and the return to the origin of the world and the Prophet’s word (not his image).’

Jonas Staal, Empire and its double: The many pavilions of the Islamic State,
E-Flux Supercommuntiy, 9th July 2015


This new body of work is based on the Islamic state flag. The Black Banner dates back to the time of Muhammed and is considered to be one of the flags flown by him, made from the  cloth of his wife Aisha’s headscarf. Recently the flag has been adopted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant as its symbol.

The intention of this work is not to represent the flag, already so pervasive in the media, but take its diagrammatic and compositional elements, the relationship between its geometry and text, its history and use of black and white, and make these values the basis for a new interpretation. The flag acts a calibration target for each painting.