Beirut gallery opens with a colourful hope-filled exhibition

Barrak Naamani chose the artist, Silwan Ibrahim, for the opening exhibition of his gallery.
Friday 23/04/2021
Vivid colours and dynamic shapes in the exhibition. (Facebook)
Vivid colours and dynamic shapes in the exhibition. (Facebook)

BEIRUT--A new Beirut art gallery has opened with an exhibition entitled “30 days from Silwan”

The Barrak Naamani art gallery is small site in the Lebanese capital’s fashionable Al-Hamra district. It has been transformed from a family tailors which for 50 years had been selling hand-made clothing into a showroom for the sculptures of artist Baraq Naamani who is fond of turning discarded objects into remarkable and usable art pieces.

These pieces range from tables, chairs to light bulbs that are unique in their design.

Naamani, who had worked in Kuwait before returning to Beirut, explained “I inherited the tailoring profession from my family … it was for me an art and a craft and I paid great attention to it. I remember that one day I needed an extra table, so I made an old sewing machine into an unconventional table.

“Then I sold it on the same day. After that incident, I started looking for old sewing machines in all of Lebanon in order to make usable works of art out of them.”

Naamani chose the highly successful painter, Silwan Ibrahim, for the opening exhibition of his gallery.

Born in Beirut in 1964, Ibrahim is renowned for his playful figures and his vibrant and flamboyant colourful compositions. After studying architecture for three years, he switched his major to Fine Arts and graduated in 1990 from the Lebanese University, National Institute of Fine Art.

Barrak Naamani and Silwan Ibrahim (Facebook)
Barrak Naamani and Silwan Ibrahim (Facebook)

His unique art, styled with figures and geometric shapes, portrays an unusual vision enrapturing us out of this world. Although his paintings are full of wit and humour, they also praise philosophical ideas.

He has sold many pictures in Lebanon and abroad, including Italy, the United States, the Emirates and Tunisia.

Naamani says he selected Ibrahim because of his colourful paintings, even if some in the show may be too vivid for some tastes.  With this in mind, the exhibition has made careful use of the space, making sure that none of the pictures on show with their bright colours and patterns, overshadows the others .

In the exhibition sadness and joy are often intertwined at the edge of confusion.

Viewers of the works find themselves searching amid the paintings, their visual richness, historical backgrounds and emotional and intellectual dimensions, for a mythical character belonging to European folklore, a “sandman ” who scatters grains of sand or magic dust in the eyes of children to make them sleep.

All the details and shapes that the eye can see in the artist’s paintings are in an upward movement against a background that often looks like a calm sky, even if its blue colour becomes stronger.