BEIRUT: With his bold concepts, a tendency to always go for dangerous and unusual colors, over 30 solo shows, and 55 group shows worldwide, it’s no surprise that contemporary artist Chaouki Chamoun was ranked in the top 50 newly auctioned artists worldwide by Art Price, a French art price database.
Attended by art lovers, family and friends, The Mark Hachem Gallery in Beirut hosted on April 23 the opening of Chamoun’s new exhibition, “Horizons,” which portrayed 38 of his newest paintings and creations.
Born in 1942, the Lebanese artist received his Fine Arts Diploma from the Lebanese University in 1972, where he received an award of a six-year fellowship to the United States, where he then completed his MA in Fine Arts in 1975 from Syracuse University.
His journey of art and education then led him to become a Ph.D. candidate at New York University, where he concentrated on Aesthetic and Studio Art. For his new collection, Chamoun used colors often described as cursed and untrendy like midnight blue, burgundy, crimson, pistachio, and turquoise, with each one of these colors occupying the canvas’ whole surface, with no partner, no rival, nor any attempt to mix, dissolute or blend.
For the vast majority of his art, he adds miniature human figures at the bottom of his paintings, as a unique signature to his creations. Although danger and daring new techniques dominate Chamoun’s style, he still maintains a touch of tradition and custom whether it be in structure, technique, elements, or consistency, combining the old with the new and creating a harmonic dance of the walls and halls of galleries.
Chamoun explained to Annahar the underlying meaning behind the exhibition’s title, he said: “A horizon is the depth of a curtain positioning in nature. In my paintings, each and every color I use is a horizon by itself.”
He then moved on to explain the message and concept of the miniature humans by comparing them to the people he has met in his life in waiting lines. They’re a part of his memory and subconscious, it started during the Lebanese Civil war, where he saw people waiting in line for bread.
He said: “Waiting lines are pessimistic, if you notice in my paintings, all the people are looking at the same direction as the viewer, and facing him. This symbolizes that we all look at the horizon.”
In addition to his own explanation, Chamoun sat down with Lebanese poet, critic, literary journalist and academic professor Akl Awit, who explained the meaning of each and every stroke made by Chamoun, and concluded his explanation describing “Horizons” as a “dangerous exhibition indeed, one that opens horizons, enhances, and does not retreat.”
The exhibition will remain on display for viewers at the Mark Hachem Gallery till May 25, 2019.
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