Exhibition
25 April 2024–25 June 2024

The Infinite & The Finite

Part of New Exhibitions

by Khaled Akil

Starts 25 April 2024

Ends 25 June 2024

Venue Ayyam Gallery

Warehouse 11

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Istanbul-based Khaled Akil’s most recent body of work. This will be the artist’s first solo exhibition in the UAE and at Ayyam Gallery.

“To follow the cosmic order and become one with the universe, I must go to the corners of my mind. At the Event Horizon, the movement of thought is drifting like clouds, colliding like dust from the beginning and glowing with all colors of love, the infinite element of existence.”

The artist aims to depict the unseen, the felt, and the omnipresent in this exhibition.

“To follow the cosmic order and become one with the universe, I must go to the corners of my mind. At the Event Horizon, the movement of thought is drifting like clouds, colliding like dust from the beginning and glowing with all colors of love, the infinite element of existence.”
The artist aims to depict the unseen, the felt, and the omnipresent.

“What I see is only chaos, and my consciousness craves order. I must get out of my comfort zone; in other words, I must break the boundaries and come out of myself.”

How can one paint what is within and all around? From the micro to the macro, an overview but also a detail. To portray something that’s never been seen, the artist starts with light, the beginning of everything we perceive, the abstract facets of realities. Akil creates his compositions through infinite strata, one atop the other, slowly building, the
artist uses intuition and memories to find balance in the relationship between cause and effect. Dozens and dozens of thin layers create such depth while avoiding impasto.

Oil is the chosen medium, governed by time, the drying process presents and provokes questions and answers in the artist’s mind, creating multiple effects to choose from. Akil’s work brings time and space together through medium and concept, putting all his tools together to tackle the immensity of the universe.

Layering colors, light, and darkness becomes therapeutic and even performative. The artist loses control, by reshaping molecules of pigment and mixing them on the surface. The result illustrates faith, energy, and emotion, touching upon the duality of existence, life and death.
The paintings hold the fabric of the universe, atoms, photons, and microcosmos made of living things. They expand with the universe and breathe with every heartbeat.

About the artist

Khaled Akil is an Aleppo-born multi-media artist who initiated his career in photography and gradually liberated himself through different media. In Khaled’s practice, photography is an understanding of light and dark, halting a moment indefinitely, and culminating it in a raw “image” of life. As the artist progressed, he began exploring collage and split the images into layers, slowly contriving different realities. Akil is perhaps best known for his series titled Pokémon Go, In Syria, showing the animation characters amid woeful scenes of ravaged Syria; an intense juxtaposition. Akil’s artistic debut took place in 2009, during which he was completing his bachelor’s degree in Law. This pursuit sharpened his awareness of politics and human rights, which translated into his bodies of work. In fact, Akil takes great inspiration from his father, renowned Syrian painter, Youssef Akil. He elucidates the pressing issues facing contemporary Middle Eastern society, the nucleus of his work is rich with symbols and intricacies that are representative of modern-day Syria. In 2012, Akil immigrated from Syria to Istanbul, which prompted a shift in his work’s narrative. Akil leaned into concepts of identity, cosmic connectivity and energy; developing a largely spiritual
approach.

In 2015, Akil was nominated by The Victoria and Albert Museum for the Jameel Art Prize.
Akil has participated in numerous solo exhibitions such as Brown University, Rhode Island, U.S.A (2018); Stanford University, California, U.S.A (2016); Chalabi Art Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey (2013); Ladhd Art Gallery, London, U.K (2012); Karma Art Gallery, Aleppo, Syria (2011); Mustafa Ali Art Foundation, Damascus, Syria (2010) and as aforementioned, at Sarmad Art Gallery, Aleppo, Syria (2009).

Akil has also exhibited in group shows, at venues such as the Bozar Art Museum, Brussels, Belgium (2019); American University Museum in Washington; Katzen Arts Center, D.C, U.S.A; World Bank, Washington D.C, U.S.A; The Reach Museum, B.C, Canada; Langley Centennial Museum, B.C, Canada; Creative Debuts, London, U.K (2018); West Branch Gallery, Vermont, U.S.A; Gaya Art Gallery, Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia (2016); Gaya Gallery, Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia; Fotofest, Houston, Texas, U.S.A (2015).

Unity, 2024, Oil on Canvas, 160 x 180 cm