Syrian artist in Dubai1 Comments 29 May 2012
Much of the art being produced in Syria today shares a common theme: a reflection on the past and hope for the future. Damascus-based artist Mohannad Orabi’s new solo show at Ayyam Gallery in DIFC, entitled
‘It’s No Longer About Me’, is no exception. But while 35-year-old Orabi says he subtly touches on his connection to his homeland, he explains that the body of work is more about ‘the interaction with the face and the person in particular’.
‘I can’t really explain all the things that inspired me to come out with this collection, but it’s definitely influenced by the people’s pain in my country, old pictures of my parents and sister (who I lost in the past) and the vagueness of the future,’ he says. ‘All these things have left a print inside of me and are reflected in my portraits.’
Orabi enlists some unusual techniques to create his pieces. ‘I use sand melted with particular materials to give the surface the feeling of a wall or a piece of land, as if I’m drawing my portraits on my land and on my walls. This is a way of expressing my attachment – and anybody’s attachment – to land, country, home, family and memories.’
In this exhibition, he uses primary colours sparingly to depict subjects with emotion so strong, it pierces the viewer. ‘In my previous collections my paintings were self-portraits. I was the centre of the subject, the only one in them, but here I became a part of this world, trying to figure it out in my own way. What’s interesting in art is that you can reflect reality through it. Humans are emotional and passionate, and they are affected by it. Colours and brush strokes are my way of expression, and to me they are exciting and beautiful.’ Here, the artist takes us through some of his standout pieces.
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