"It is my belief that feelings, sensations, thoughts, expectations and dreams are frequencies that respond to colours, shapes and forms that are embedded in our subconscious minds. When I paint I try to share my experiences through this vibration of colors."
Fayez Barakat, born in Palestine and living in London, is best known as one of the world’s most important dealers and collectors of ancient art. His gallery in London is a treasure trove, filled to the brim with every age and culture ranging from Maya crystal skulls to Mogul statuary and Egyptian jewellery. However, whilst Barakat’s extensive knowledge has helped shape key private and public collections, there is another side to him that is fast becoming apparent: he is a prolific and highly accomplished painter who has managed over the last several years to establish an eclectic and allusive body of work.
Employing an astonishingly wide range of techniques, Fayez Barakat paints like other artists sketch; that is, he paints restlessly, loosely, energetically and gives over free rein to the flow of ideas going through him. The paintings, partly triggered by visions and ideas the artist has (he calls them "concerts of ideas, colours and themes"), are mostly executed at night between 2am and 5am or in any other free time he has from running and managing his galleries across three separate time zones. Other ideas come from the environment in which he paints, ranging as they do from his studios in Jordan, Los Angeles, Seoul, Marrakech, Hong Kong, and London. The themes of his paintings are likewise varied and allusive, encompassing ideas such as fantasy, meditation, ecstasy and nirvana. These works not only embody his visions and feelings though, they often engage him in a process of what can be only called transcendence. In one recent interview, he has spoken about the inner energies driving him and the sense that he becomes a "medium" of sorts channeling ideas and techniques in a manner that even surprises him. As the artist has noted, with a look of slight bewilderment, it is for him "beyond belief" that he should be so obsessed (if not possessed) by the need to paint every day.
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist