Press Release (ePRNews.com) - MIAMI - Nov 27, 2017 - Tony Khawam Gallery curated exhibition at Red Dot Art Miami “Spiritual Vessels” features the paintings of Tony Khawam and the clay ceramic sculptures of Jeff Whyman. Khawam’s new collection, Aleppo Urban Landscapes, presents a semi-abstract vision of Syria’s war-torn cities and Whyman’s “Intergalactic Vessels” share a spiritual connection between the two artist’s works exhibiting at Miami Premier Art Fair Location, Booth #R624. Red Dot Miami exhibitions are curated gallery-only of contemporary art, now in its 12th year, this year titled [IMPACT] as the curatorial theme for 2017. Art not only reflects society but also influences it. This theme forms a common thread throughout the special exhibits and programming that showcases exhibitors, art industry professionals, and select nonprofits and institutions.
2017 Red Dot Miami featuring international slate of 75+ galleries showing over 500 leading artists. The five-day show attracts more than 30,000 visitors and high-net-worth collectors who interact with the curators and gallery owners. Taking place in a beautiful gallery-style venue in the heart of Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District, Red Dot Miami 2017 aims to play a key role in the rich array of Miami Art Week events.
Khawam stopped painting in 2001 after the events of 9/11, but picked up his brush again in 2015 influenced by the Syrian crisis that ravages his birthplace of Aleppo, Syria. “My primary focus is of my birthplace–the city of Aleppo with urban scenes of collapsed apartment floors, fallen balconies, curved rooftops and punched holes in the building facades,” explained Khawam, whose family immigrated to the US in 1976 and became a naturalized citizen five years later.
“Viewers at first glance see and experience both the sadness of the scene and at the same time a hopeful feeling” explained Juliana Morello, the curator of Bailey Contemporary Arts gallery in Pompano Beach (Fort Lauderdale), where the two artists also showcasing there works during Art Miami Week. Khawam accomplishes this paradox by using a colorful palette to paint the neighborhoods by deconstructing the painting with the single stroke method and make it appear intact while at the same time allowing us to see the tragic reality of haunting, disturbing scenes and offers us a unique vision in his application and method of paint which is evident in the new art direction of his paintings.” In conjunction with BaileyArts.org and Red Dot Miami exhibitions, a catalogue 50 pages is available for sale at the galleries exhibitions and on Tony Khawam Gallery website.
Khawam’s paintings and Whyman’s sculptures are perfect collaboration on this unique gallery exhibition that draws viewer’s attention to the heritage of both artists transforming ancient skills into the contemporary art in a methodology of presenting their works with a similar expressive approach. The first artist with acrylic paint and the later with clay, ceramics and earth materials, both artists have similar inclination on introducing contemporary works of art to the art world.
According aerwm to Mel Lehman the director of Common Humanity, a non-profit organization based in New York City, the theme of this year Reddotmiami.com/tony-khawam – Reddotmiami.com/jeff-whyman exhibition will astonish viewers, gallery, Museum curators and art collectors by his sensitivity to the subject matter with an expressionist style and the manipulation of several layers of paint to create a unique way of expressing the idea that our visions of war are structured through our own varying positions. I am deeply impressed by his unique semi-abstract style and vision of Syria’s urban landscapes in its war-torn cities and especially the urban scenes of his birthplace, the City of Aleppo.
Khawam’s aim is not to focus on the politics of the conflict, but instead to raise awareness in the hope of changing the perception from destruction — of haunting and disturbing scenes to hopeful, colorful neighborhoods that are filled with life. “The presence of people is felt without showing human suffering and offer a glimpse of hope for residents to return and rebuild, continued Khawam.
Syria – Aleppo Urban Landscapes paintings series are best viewed as collage paintings of six or more to form one artwork so the viewer can fully experience the depth, sensitivity of the subject and the method of painting up close to examine the expressionist fractal patterns of layered accumulation of brush strokes.
Khawam met Whyman during the latter’s solo exhibition at Rosenbaum Contemporary Gallery in Boca Raton and felt an instant affinity for his work.
Master artist Jeff Whyman has been exploring the expressive possibilities of clay and steel sculpture for more than four decades. He studied with legendary Peter Voulkos who was a leader in both breaking the boundaries between the fine arts and crafts and in creating large scale abstract expressionistic ceramics. Whyman uses modern clay to form the basic shape of a pottery, then he starts adding different shapes of clay and other materials with rapid execution and full energy to finish the process by glazing the ceramic sculpture.
“Jeff has figured out how to create contemporary works of art from an ancient craft and uses it to create contemporary signature style ceramic sculptures. His application and rapid execution of the materials to build a sculpture is similar to my techniques of applying expressionist strokes to construct and deconstruct to create a fragmentation but yet intact paintings,” said Khawam. “Jeff’s work reminds me of the ancient clay pottery and sculputres I grew up seeing in the national museums of Aleppo and Damascus.”
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Tony Khawam Gallery