Issue No.
166, February 2012 Latest update 9 2014f August 2014, at 4.39 am
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     Artist of the Month
He’s Not Just a Clown, 120 x 100 cm, oil on canvas
In an Oriental Cafe, 50 x 40 cm, oil on canvas
Rehearsing, 80 x 60 cm, oil on canvas
Crowded Lunch, 150 x 120 cm, oil on canvas
Heart Loves all that is Beautiful 60 x 40 cm, oil on canvas
Ladies Be Seated, 120 x 80 cm, oil on canvas
Portrait of the Artist’s Wife, 103 x 75 cm, oil on canvas

Farid Fakhriddin

“Understanding and admiring art is the human passage that will enable you to live peacefully and cheerfully even when life is harsh and unfair. Art invites you to rise above anything that is trivial.” Farid Fakhriddin

Farid Fakhriddin was born in Nablus on December 29, 1958, into a family of intellectuals. Until the age of nine, he was raised on a beautiful piece of land, rich in culture, history, and inspiration. He recognised his mother’s beauty and her appreciation and admiration of quality of life. It was she who educated his eyes and awakened his artistic senses at an early age. Fakhriddin left Nablus at the age of nine and settled in Amman. He graduated from his undergraduate studies in 1977, with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from a university in the United Kingdom.

He started painting while working in the southern province of Saudi Arabia in 1983. He adopted the impressionist and post-impressionist styles in his paintings, travelling between Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, and Europe. Going to Italy and Yemen gave him a special insight into rural life. His paintings are influenced mostly by European style. When he lived for a short while in Japan, however, he was exposed to different cultures that influenced his creativity and instilled in him the desire to paint various themes.

Following his meticulous self-education in art history, Fakhriddin read a lot about Van Gogh, Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, and Lautrec. He started painting what his heart most cherished, and his painting Jerusalem emerged in 1990. Arab authors and artists also influenced his work, and in 1991, he painted a portrait, Unknown Woman, inspired by Gibran Khalil Gibran’s description of May Ziadeh.

Fakhriddin felt proud of these two paintings, and he considered having a solo exhibition to present his work. The event took place in 1992 at the Crown Hotel in Amman. At the exhibition, he sold several paintings, but he always held on to Jerusalem.

Due to changing life circumstances, Fakhriddin stepped away from painting for a while. He established a graphic design and printing centre in 1994 in an effort to gain his livelihood. His work remained consistent with his passion for art, colours, and beauty.

Today, Fakhriddin’s paintings are admired extensively and sell on a regular basis. He uses only oil as a medium, and he has his own style using brush strokes, pallet knife, and daring colours. “Painting expresses my feelings towards daily life: a scene I witness, news I read about, a song I listen to, a book I read. Mostly my inspiration comes when I have an opinion on something that I have seen, heard, or watched,” he says.

Fakhriddin’s dream is for people to start acquiring art for the sake of art. He wants art to be taken seriously at schools and in educational institutions in order to open students’ minds and give them the ability to recognise, develop, and understand the concepts of life in a sophisticated manner. What is art except what one feels or what one thinks? Art is a tool in teaching our young generation how to respect and believe in democracy.

Fakhriddin has developed a series of portraits of known and unknown figures. He will enter the BP Portrait Award 2012 competition, now in its thirty-third year at the National Portrait Gallery and in its twenty-third year of sponsorship by BP. This event is an annual competition that aims to encourage artists to focus upon and develop portraiture in their work. Fakhriddin will present a new piece for the competition, meanwhile working towards another solo exhibition that will take place in Jordan in April 2012.

The BP Portrait Award 2012 exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery in London, from June 21 to September 23, 2012.

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