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Whenever I Get into Myself I Become Universal

Al bayan - Shaker Nouri

Whenever I Get into Myself I Become Universal

Human figures and creatures look at the audience as if they are questioning them; they look as if they are getting out from the wall. Like this, the idea parallels with the title of the gallery. There is nostalgia, mixed with green, yellow and white. These are some of the artist Baseem Rayyes's memories which he wants, through them, to make audience share these feelings with him. The artist talks humbly about his gallery, "My painting talk about the lessons life wants to teach us, and how we must forget the things which we do not wants to see." So, what are the thing that the artist does not want to see? Are they the paintings in his current gallery?

His paintings reveal the artist's revolt against academic values because he wants to destroy shapes and recreate them according to his own rules which leaves a room for inner expression. The characters in his paintings maybe a repeated but not identical figure; each time he gives a new meaning which implies a lot of reshaping and exaggeration. Exaggeration in drawing equals with rhetoric in writing _ he writes an exaggerated artistic and visual text includes visual rhetoric which gives a special touch for the gallery; thus, a special imprint for the artist himself. His colors are professionally mixed, so they do not look fresh; ancient colors as old as the time; colors affected by age, and souls affected by rust, and this what touches the Soul.

"The gallery is the result of a continuous daily work," the artist tells us, and adds, "an idea controls me, develops and gets bigger through its relationship with the artistic visual language, where I make them alike with the original ones on earth to tell folk tales, I learnt when I was a child, which are still in my mind."

By his paintings, the artist makes us touch our human memory on the walls; it is the memory of place and time together, and, also, the memory of joy and war.

Here, the artist focuses his idea on the wall. What does it mean, according to him?

"The idea of the wall, for me, is another concept; it is a barrier of place and time, that's why you can find creatures with six or even seven fingers _ they are hyper sensitive."
And do these deformed creatures on the wall symbolize anything? "These creatures are the Arab man in his beauty and ugliness," he says, "they refer to the isolated individual, sitting by himself, in this corner."

Rayyes does not like abstractionism, and prefers to be expressionist and realistic, but in an apparent creative touch. About his relationship with universality, he says, "I do not know how to identify my position in the art all over the world, but I am in the heart of this world, of this tissue and of this sole net; Whenever I get into myself I become universal."

In brief, the paintings of (On the Wall) are done by the expressionist style; Rayyes's characters are deformed and silently shouting, or we can say that they are choked by their shouts. They do not look at the viewer, but at his/her inner world to confuse his depth crowded by breakdowns, wounds and disappointments.


- 50 paintings form (On the Wall) gallery of the Syrian artist Baseem Rayyes by Vindemia Gallery in Aspen Hall in Kempinesky Hotel, and it starts on May 26th, and ends on July 4th.
- Syrian artist Baseem Rayyes was born in Old Damascus, in an old house full of people and events, beside great thick walls which affected him. He started drawing when he was 6, and after the death of his father, the unknown artist Jamil Rayyes, he decided to develop what he genetically inherited, art.
- He studied art personally, and continued his studies in Agricultural Engineering faculty, Damascus University. He participated in both personal and group galleries in many Arab and foreign countries.
- His short story collection (Tomorrow, I Will Sew My Mouth) won Al-Sharja Arab Creativity Prize, third grade, in 2010.
- He is preparing to direct his short film (The Boundaries of Grey).

Dubai, Shaker Al Nouri


Translated by: Yazan el-Haj

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