The latest talent added to our program! Mr. Ghazi Assaker has been known by many Assyrians, especially in the Central Valley, for his amazing artwork, seen for many years at Assyrian festivals and events. We are thrilled to finally have the chance to feature his art at the 10th Annual Mesopotamian Night on October 7th in San Jose.
Assaker was born in Beirut, Lebanon, into a Christian Maronite family and grew up in Diaspora not knowing his Assyrian identity. His people had long been cultivating a new image by which they can survive. The Christian Maronites of Lebanon are the direct descendants of the Assyrians. During the Byzantine slaughter of the Christian Assyrians, the Maronite leader, Mar Maron, began translating all religious scriptures and documents from the Assyrian to Arabic for fear of persecution. He forced the Maronites to speak Arabic only and that helped them survive for centuries. Unfortunately, that also helped to eradicate their Assyrian identity; however, this small group went on to give birth to two great Assyrian artists; Khalil Gibran and Ghazi Assaker.
Growing up in Lebanon, Ghazi gained access to the Arabian institutions of art. He learned to carve wood and mold copper from a master craftsman, George Shamoun. He met and married an Assyrian lady from Bet-Nahrain and through her; he began his journey in search of his real identity and ancient past. In 1979 Ghazi and his wife migrate to the United States and settle in Chicago, where he found himself surrounded by 77,000 Assyrians! He began to carve wood and mold copper to recreate ancient Assyrian images. The more he carved, the more obsessed Ghazi became with his cultural roots. In recreating the past he tried to live an identity he was long ago denied.
By reproducing Assyrian reliefs and friezes, Ghazi desperately tries to bring Assyrian art out of the museum and into the Assyrian community. When carving the Assyrian god Ashur standing before the Assyrian flag, Ghazi tells us the Assyrians worshiped a god long before the Jewish people discovered Yahweh or Jehovah. Assyrians called him god ASHUR, just as the Hindus call him Krishna, the Orientals Buddha, and the Muslim Allah. In carving the image of Hammurabi, Ghazi reminds us that the Assyrians wrote the code of ethics long before the Biblical Ten Commandments ever existed. In depicting Gilgamesh, Ghazi conveys that Assyrians had written about the great flood long before the story of Noah and his Arc. By recreating the story of the Tree of life, Ghazi maintains that the Assyrians had already illustrated the story of Creation long before Adam and Eve took the bite.
Assyrian kings and monarchs knew very well that other groups were operating to destroy our image, our space, and power, which is why they commissioned such an incredible amount of art to preserve the Assyrian legacy. The only way to preserve a legacy is to leave a lingering image. Ghazi’s art is an attempt to set the record straight and to change the course of history the Assyrians have taken in relation to the loss of their identity.
Today, Ghazi is working on a 1988 Lincoln Town car limousine with his son Barjees. After 6 years of hard work, the entire body is covered in copper and wooden artwork, ranging from American history to Greek mythology. More photos of this limousine along with other copper art pieces made by Ghazi could be found on his Facebook Fan Page – “ProjectLimo”.
“WITHOUT ARTISTS THERE WOULD BE NO HISTORY TO REMEMBER AND TO TALK ABOUT TODAY”
If you are interested in contacting Ghazi for custom artwork, you can email him at GhaziAssakerArt@Gmail.com or Call him at (209)-602-6443
For the 10th Annual Mesopotamian Night we will be featuring Mr. Assaker masterpiece the “Sacred Tree” at the Live Auction. A 41.5×22″ artwork Hand Hammered on copper and he desceibes it as “Assyrians illustrated the story of creation long before Adam and Eve took the bite”
Other wonderful artwork of his are considered for the silent auction