Syrian artist forgoes his usual colour in diplay of photo-like images
Khaled Takreti made his mark on the art scene with his use of bright hues, influenced by colour-happy legends Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. But in the Syrian artist’s new series, ‘Silence’, he has swayed from his signature style to create a series of grey, black and sepia paintings that he says reflect his present emotional state. ‘For me, art is a mirror and a reflection of your state of mind,’ explains the 48-year-old artist.
Devoid of colour and with a focus on neutral hues, Takreti’s works almost resemble photographs. ‘The palette illustrates the pain I’ve experienced, which has drained the colour and narrative from my works,’ he explains. Using lace and stamps to create the mixed-media works, Takreti reveals that keeping the canvas colour-free allows viewers to come up with their own narrative. ‘I wanted to make the work simpler and less elaborate, to make people think,’ he says. The exhibition continues at Dubai’s Ayyam Gallery until Thursday November 29 – here, Takreti talks us through some of his stand-out works.
The lowdown Exhibition: ‘Silence’ until November 29 at Ayyam Gallery, Gate Village (04 439 2395). Artist: Khaled Takreti. Price of works: Dhs128,500 to Dhs293,500.
KT68 ‘This is a positive image: silver fish represent glory, luck and superstitious elements. This piece represents two types of people: one who is lucky, and one who points fingers at someone else and denies taking responsibility. It represents the multiple façades of the techniques I use in my paintings: print versus white canvas versus texture.’
KT69 ‘This goes back to the protective relationship of a mother and her son. The flowered lace in this painting represents the kindness of the woman – lace is a feminine aspect. The geometrical shapes of the man are compared with the soft forms of the woman. There’s a tape on the man’s body, always recording what’s happening so he can never forget. The red lips of the man underline his memories of him and his mother.’
KT78 ‘This represents two ways of looking at beauty. It shows a woman who isn’t universally beautiful, but is still elegant. Her dress and arms are painted normally; afterwards I covered the work with prints. I applied real lace in order to print on top of the painted dress to give it some relief, then I retouched it again to underline the details.’
KT70 ‘This is the first painting of the series. It represents pain and suffering – it’s about my country’s current situation. I lost colour and narration and I focused on the figures that are, for me, a mirror of this period in history. The patterns are conceptual – they say that something isn’t complete in this scene. The fish can be negative and positive: I like to present two sides of the story, such as “glass half full” and “glass half empty”. The little piece that has fallen off the puzzle has an artistic sense – it prolongs the viewer’s gaze and draws it to the bottom of the painting.’