Baseem Rayyes's Portraits
People Similar to Life, and Paintings for Imaginary Spirits
Qays Mustafa, Baladna
A while ago, the Syrian artist Baseem Rayyes announced an idea which may seem a bit strange under the title (A Painting on Every Wall). The idea is quite simple; Baseem Rayyes dedicated himself, for an entire month, to draw paintings for those who wish to. Indeed, request began to rush on the young artist, and then paintings, which have the requested titles, were finished.
In Baseem Rayyes's carefully drawn paintings, the ability to foresee and have impressions of the people who communicated with him greatly appears. Portrait, in this case, does not look just a sketch which tries to approach the human who awaits to be drawn, but it becomes a full construction of an anonymous person; building by colors to the extent that this person cannot be anything but his image in the painting; the painting creates him and lives within him. Baseem Rayyes's drawn characters which implies cruelty, in most of them, clearly refer to the cruelty of the giving which Rayyes has committed; an expensive cruelty which may destroy the young artist along with his artistic future, and which may make his future painting with no value, materially speaking, because it will be easily available in the hands of many recipients who paid nothing, except the little time they need to send Baseem their email requests to get his paintings. Regardless of the great risk of this step, of Baseem Rayyes, he is, absolutely, a winner; he wins himself, at least, in the time where meaningless scratches cost thousands and thousands of dollars. So, paintings of Baseem Rayyes become both cheap and very valuable at the same time; it is a painting in which love is its only cost.
Personally, Baseem Rayyes has not draw me a painting yet, until the date of writing this article, but he mostly is going to; this month seems to extend so much, because his initiative was greatly welcomed. He promised people, whose paintings were finished, that he will send them their paintings soon, although he should have exhibited these paintings before delivering them. By this, paintings will be already sold for many art lovers where most of them cannot afford a painting, which may be the best solution facing the unknown raise of paintings price controlled by businessmen and galleries.
What these unknown recipients will feel, and what kind of the halls in which these paintings will be hanged on will stay unknown.
Artistically speaking, Baseem Rayyes draws by one technique. His initiative changes to be both personal and public at once, but this does not mean that his portraits are completely the same; there are connected in a way which put them in a particular shape. This is not a pattern at all; it is a project which implies that people may be related, and find themselves as washed clothes on a rope; and that everyone of them is the other face of a similar who may or may not know.
Rayyes's colors, in his portraits, are loud and hot; they are generated from a particular feeling, from a passion of people and love for them. Blue, with all of its shadows are found in most of the works; ambivalent and skeptic blue which puts people in that unknown point_ the point of knowledge which creates itself which is always embodied in the unlimited space. In addition to the burning red which implies people on fire who are glowing in their own silence and behind their own covers veils whom we do not recognize while they are hiding behind them.
In Baseem Rayyes's Paintings, we know all people, and we also know that they are shining to that extent of humanity where we recognize one another. "We know and love each other," says Baseem Rayyes.
Translated by: Yazan el-Haj