Masterpiece Fine Art, Dubai brings eccentric artist Faris Badwan to the UAE for its first ever artist in residency showcase
Inspired by phone conversations during the pandemic, Faris’ unique style and creative genius will be introduced to public in the UAE on the 25th September 2021
Dubai, September 2021: Masterpiece Fine Art, Dubai; the fine art dealership from the United Kingdom is honoured to be bringing contemporary artist Faris Badwan to the region, for an exclusive exhibition and intimate series of bespoke art events over a period of two weeks. The exhibition will mark the artist’s first ever showcase outside of Europe and the gallery’s first artist in residency since its opening earlier this year. With selected opportunities for the public to engage and commission directly from the artist, Faris Badwan’s Middle East residency will run from the 25th September until the 9th October across Masterpiece Fine Art galleries in Dubai.
With recently reopened borders from Dubai into the capital, Faris’ work will also be on display from the 27th to the 28th September at the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX) - a prestigious annual event attended by dignitaries from around the world as well as the Royal Family of the UAE and other GCC countries. As part of the programme, Faris will be traveling to the event in Abu Dhabi and immersing himself in the culture through artworks made over conversations with Emiratis and attendees.
A multi-talented artist who is also the lead vocalist for renowned alternative rock band the ‘Horrors', Faris Badwan has pushed the envelope to discover a new sensory dimension, through which he uses art as a medium to connect with others. Creating paintings in parallel to dialogues with strangers and loved ones, Faris’ art came to life during the pandemic, and pays homage to building and developing relationships through remote communication in the current times.
All of Faris’ artworks are a mesmerizing illusion of telephonic rhythms, greetings, questions, pauses, retorts, laughter, and goodbyes. His most recent body of work, an analogue reply to the technological advancements of the 21st century, are the result of phone conversations between friends and acquaintances, where Faris has utilised each call to document and decipher the unintentional interpretations of conversation. What can be often seen as idle doodling, is strikingly transformed into visual dialogue, where mark making outlines the unconscious into structural works of captivating art. Aptly titled ‘Call and Response’, each unconventional piece displays layers of strokes that resemble transcripts and calligraphy to create new worlds that are a spoken exchange between artist and muse, making the call itself Faris’ topic, and the act of operating between his conscious and subconscious, his process.
Most of Faris' artworks are titled based on the time stamp of a phone call or after the person he’s conversed with, while some of his pieces are a sequence of artworks with the same person at different times - 15:58 Sarah Terhaag and 16:15 Sarah Terhaag for example are a series of conversations with the same individual.
Faris Badwan comments: “I use phone conversations as a way to almost unplug the critical part of my brain so that all the marks and colour selection come from an intuitive, responsive place. The paintings serve to add another dimension to the dialogue and are the traces words leave behind. Many of the pieces to me have the feeling of some kind of map, a landscape to be navigated. While one part of my brain is focussed on the conversation at hand, the other more intuitive part is creating a parallel dialogue which winds its way around the paper or canvas. As I get to know these people, many of them total strangers, through a series of lengthy phone calls, the pieces develop and grow as different types of connections are established. Connection in the end is a basic human need - and I’ve never been more aware of that over the last year living amidst a pandemic.”
Faris’ mentor, Paul Deller, Artist & Professor of Fine Art, comments: “I guess we’ve all done it; sketched in the margins of an agenda or in our note pad during a meeting, letting our pen freestyle whilst we are listening. All the while, making aesthetic decisions whilst on autopilot. Faris Badwan is a master in his own mind, inviting connection and integration through intimate and personal conversations that are remarkably translated into visual narratives. Translated into visual narratives until relatively recently, drawing was the most immediate of mediums and, created in the moment, these automatic, analogue works are completely in step with our technological times. They are records and Faris is, of course, used to making records, reading like schematic traces, like the indelible imprints we make with every post and tweet.”
Alex Cousens, Masterpiece Fine Art, Dubai Executive Gallery Manager comments: “Since working with Faris for the first time in 2017 on his exhibition “Dreams of Past and Future “, Royal Society of Arts, London, I always considered Faris’ style as innately human and uniquely personal. Constantly striving to capture the world around him in manifestations of pen, ink and paint, whether figurative or purely abstract, his art is always intimate to the core, portraits of the psyche. Searching for a connection between subject and artist, the resulting works reveal a hybrid personality of both parts – true artistic representation of expression and exploration. The gallery is delighted to be part of Faris’ first residency outside of Europe and believe the audience of the UAE will embrace this unique occasion, to connect with a most enigmatic artist.”
Through hosting Faris Badwan in the region, Masterpiece Fine Art, Dubai will also be providing the public an opportunity to commission the artist to produce their own one-of-a-kind creations. Ensuring there will be plenty to showcase, combining art, music and culture across a series of local events, workshops and discussions with Faris, Masterpiece's goal of diversifying Dubai's art scene by bringing international artists to the region, is a welcome addition to the new season.