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A solo exhibition of Syrian artist Khaled Takreti opens at Ayyam Gallery in Dubai
Khaled Takreti (1964 -), 'Portrait', 150 x 150 cm. Acrylic on Canvas 2011.

DUBAI.- From the 5 to the 29 November, Ayyam Gallery DIFC will present, ‘Silence’ a solo exhibition of Syrian artist Khaled Takreti. Departing from his usual heavily saturated candy coloured canvases, a subdued palette of sepia and grey tones and stark backgrounds render this body of work more engaging as the viewer is able to quietly impose onto the world of these silent characters. In many of the portraits there is an almost palpable loneliness, yet there is no sense of weakness in Takreti’s characters. They stare directly at the viewer, almost challenging him to ponder over the internal thoughts lying behind their detached facades.

Takreti states that his desire with this series is to present a less romantic, more contemporary view of external life. His paintings are a mirror of himself, and at present, with the turmoils facing his homeland of Syria, they illustrate the pain he experiences during this difficult period, a time which has drained the colour and narrative from his works.

Working with unprimed canvas bearing its natural texture and ecru surface, he renders his subjects in grey tonalities like a captured photograph. His figures stand silent and sparse, leaving the viewer to colour them with their individual interpretations.

Though the artist prefers not to provide his own interpretations for each piece, he does acknowledge the irony present in many of these works. Takreti’s paintings are decidedly truthful and as a result, the images and emotions conveyed transfer directly from his heart to the heart of others.

Born in Beirut in 1964, Syrian artist Khaled Takreti studied Architecture and Design in Damascus and worked with the General Directorate of Antiquity and Museums in Syria prior to launching his career as a contemporary painter. Developing a passion for drawing at an early age, he later harnessed his talent through years of formal training. In 1995, he moved to New York City where he expanded his knowledge of art and absorbed a variety of international trends. Upon relocating to Paris in 2006, Takreti continued learning of past and contemporary trends in art and began painting in a full-time capacity. Drawing from his past, Khaled Takreti creates beautifully stylized portraits and scenes he regards as his visual diary. Moments and people from his memory return to life on vivid canvases. Though the compositions are based in his personal experiences, thematically each is universal and resonates with all audiences.

His paintings have been displayed in solo and collective exhibitions throughout the Middle East, Europe and the US, and in international expositions such as the Alexandria Biennale, Art Paris, Art Hong Kong and Art Dubai. Takreti’s works are housed in the permanent collections of such prominent Middle Eastern institutions as the Syrian National Museum and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha.

Founded in Damascus in 2006, Ayyam Gallery is one of the Middle East’s premier art spaces, representing some of the region’s most prominent contemporary artists. With a selection of cutting-edge painting, sculpture and photography, the gallery has sought to promote the Arab World’s dynamic cultural scene at home and abroad. Over the years, its continued commitment to the expansion and progression of Middle Eastern art has led to a number of landmark initiatives including The Shabab Ayyam Project, an incubator program for young artists, and Ayyam Publishing, a Middle Eastern art imprint. Ayyam Gallery has locations in Beirut, Damascus and Dubai and is now expanding to London and Jeddah. 

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