– – – << LIVING THE DREAM SERIES – 2020/22 >> – – –
Artist Statement – Living the Dream Series
Tony Khawam’s work stems from his interest in histories, human emotion, allusions to place, memory, and the ubiquitous fleeting moments of the conscious and unconscious. The recent work has iconic undertones with a focus on the artist’s fascination with historical imagery from the ancient Mesopotamian, Assyrian, Egyptian, Greek, Roman, with influences of post-war German and American art adopted into his daily artistic and structural practices with the current surroundings and happenings by marrying a skewed perspective with dimensional flatness, his paintings allude to the continuous development of the American culture.
– – – << CHAOS / ALEPPO / UKRAINE SERIES – 2015/22 >> – – –
Khawam’s work is characterized by its layered formal, material, and conceptual complexity of a grid like forms, colors and gestures in more experimental, spontaneous working process. In addition to acrylic paint, he employs some of the traditional methods of dyed yarn hand made knitting, burlap and silicone which are exclusively human characteristics and are features of the human society to bring forth some of the hidden historical motifs into the contemporary work. The art is sketched from various references including his photography and media images to create a semi-realistic composition. The second half of the process is the deconstruction of the forms in a semi-abstract manner highlighted with bold shapes, and gestural brushstrokes by the use of materials that intensify our visual experience.
Aleppo & Chaos Series
Khawam’s work from 2015 to 2020 focused on heritage, social disruption, displacement, and immigration through the ‘Aleppo’ and ‘Chaos’ series. In 2020, he started creating new work “I wanted to flip the narrative and experiment with a subject and a style opposite of the ‘Chaos’ series by exploring past glories and prosperity from an immigrant’s perspective of the American dream. His work offers a delicate balance between figuration and geometrical abstraction, mirroring the real and unreal ways in which he renders lived experiences. Moreover, his myriad mediums including acrylic, pastel, spray paint further support these dichotomies as the image becomes simultaneously flattened and fractured by referencing painterly style to create a harmonious image through tension. The figurative inclusion in the recent work speaks to a continuity in our human draw towards interpreting our environment with past and present in painting and mark making.
Aleppo Urban Landscapes Process
Three steps process in a storytelling and follows a building construction, starting with a black and white loose sketch or underpainting of a realistic scene followed by the deconstruction by applying acrylic impasto strokes to finish with a fragmented expressionist painting. The small format paintings final step to display the work is to assemble a minimum of six paintings to form one artwork to maximize the view’s experience.
Aleppo Urban Landscape Series Underpainting