Executed in: 2022
Medium: Acrylic on canvas
Size: 180 x 180 cm (unframed)
Signed and dated on the front lower left "Serwan B 2022".
Private Collection, Lebanon. Acquired directly from the artist.
This artwork is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
Born in 1968 in Baghdad, Serwan Baran received a BFA from the University of Babylon, College of Fine Arts in 1990. The decade following his graduation, the artist started exhibiting in Baghdad, winning multiple prizes namely at the Baghdad International Festival of Visual Arts in 1994 and 1995. Having received mentorship from Faik Hassan and Marwan Kassab Bachi, Baran seems to have welcomed their influence as part of his unique artistic identity. He settled in Amman, Jordan in the 2000s to finally move to Beirut, where he currently resides and works. Having been enrolled in the army, Baran’s art often centers on poverty, war (mostly in Iraq), tension and anxiety, without a hint of romance, but rather in a very honest realistic manner. His recent works often feature an infusion of Figurative Realism into abstract works.
This work creates a perfect illusion. Baran’s subjects are immaculately placed, their heads forming an ellipse that surprisingly creates depth in a piece which has a completely flat background. Baran’s masterly chiaroscuro (light and shadow play) also contributes to the three-dimensional feel of the piece. The two men on both extremes of the canvas, backs arched forward, look at each other suspiciously. In fact, every pair of these men are diametrically opposed and gazing or glaring at each other. The composition of this piece grows more interesting the longer one looks at it.
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