Fayez Barakat : Matter Energy that Matters
Barakat Seoul presents a solo exhibition of artist Fayez Barakat from October 11 (Tue), 2016, to May 14 (Sun), 2017. Fayez Barakat experiments in his paintings with bold yet harmonious forms, completely impartial to shapes and colours, as to expresses the existence of energies normally invisible to the eye. Fayez is universally known as one of the most prominent collectors and dealers of ancient art, with a vast knowledge of the arts and a profound understanding of cultures. Along those lines his professional sophistication merging with his multifaceted artistic sensibility, makes it difficult to trace the roots of his own work. His distinctive style is influenced from various periods, diverse religions and cultures, at the same time intermingled with primitive and raw creative energy and personal experience, resulting in the creation of a unique artistic world which challenges and transcends current assumptions in contemporary art, and evokes anew the primal power and inspiration of the arts felt through all of the senses, as a higher physical experience.
“Matter Energy That Matters”, Fayez’s solo exhibition in South Korea, sheds rays of light on aspects of his obsessive collecting, which has been a lifelong vocation and the spark of his creative energy. The Barakat family began 150 years ago in Jerusalem to trade in ancient art, a field of business that Fayez has masterfully expanded and continues until the present as one of it’s main leaders. While handling ancient artifacts, Fayez ascertains their intrinsic value through the textures of their surfaces, crystallized in the earth and their material energy, and such experience seems to have granted him a special sensibility to materiality. His sensitive and tactile sensibility regarding material energy acts as an aesthetic pressure on him, leading him to transmit all sensory impressions which he receives daily from his professional life onto the canvas.
Fayez is focusing on the shapes created by colours, seeking to fill the canvas with colours, applying the paint in thick strokes, as to render its materiality prominent. Such characteristics prompt viewers to feel the breathtaking energy in his paintings, and guide them to embrace that same energy not just with their eyes but with their entire bodies. In this show, the energy emitted by Fayez’s paintings is combined with the shape of ancient artworks - his collection - reaching a powerful yet harmonious pitch. Such an experience allows viewers to surpass their position as seeing, reasoning subjects, to open up all of their senses and feel the energy of the paintings and the objects as they are. This manner of approach and appreciation is an invitation prompting materially embodied viewers to likewise regard the paintings as materials and to perceive that world of materiality as it actually is.
Beginning with this exhibition at Barakat Seoul Fayez’s artistic world can be expected to expand, experimentally, with links to contemporary theories, science and phenomena. Alluding to the exchange of material and spiritual energy, multicultural and multireligious characteristics, with myth and history projected into his work, Fayez’s unique position as a mediator connecting the past and the present can be anticipated to act as a source of fresh energy into the contemporary art world.
Fayez Barakat (b. 1949) is an American painter originally from Jerusalem. He is the owner of the Barakat Galleries, with over 150 years of tradition, the world’s greatest ancient art collector, as well as a passionate artist.
Fayez Barakat’s paintings are explosive variations of colors and forms, independent from the conventions of specific cultures, historic periods and trends, charged with a bold energy that openly and without any hesitation embraces and promotes an aesthetic identity through a unique artistic diversity. Being a prolific artist, a vast quantity of his paintings adopts multiple and various techniques rather than sticking to one specific style, his work has the nature of a disciplined practice that drives him as an artist beyond his own limits. Fayez has repeatedly stated that the presence of external forces motivate him to paint, and believes that his paintings are created through his immersion in an unconscious ‘space of energy’, and that viewers of his artworks are also influenced, moved, driven and transported by the power of this energy.
A combination of the artist’s experiences in various phases of his life, through different religions and cultures, Fayez’s aesthetic world leads us to a place beyond the orthodox educational and institutional discussions, to a world that can only be reached by virtue of meditating through the body and its senses. Having created a prestigious reputation and dominated the ancient art market with his professional acumen, Fayez Barakat is presently actively captivated by his paintings. We confidently anticipate that his rich oeuvre will expand our sensorial awareness and expose us to new aesthetic experiences.