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Houmam Al-Sayed

     Houmam takes the human figure to a new level of expression with his playful and childish representations of everyday people set in a specific time and space.

Distinctive faces portray strong and flexible characters, clearly grounded in his sculptural background. Works on sale cover the whole artistic process, from line drawings, to large, colourful canvases and last but not least, sculptures in bronze.

An exciting first sale at the Sotheby’s in Doha and second sale in Christie's Dubai in 2010, has set this artist on a fast track of success.

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  A portrait is the art of drawing a character from the painter’s point of view. Meaning it’s the art of painting the characters personality and not the character himself. Portrait Art began to rise around the Second Century AD, and has been seen in the tombs of early Christians but the first personal Self-Portrait can be traced back to the Pharaoh Akhenaten, 1365 BC.

I have known Houmam on a personal level for two years now, but before I just I knew him through his Art Work that I have seen at one of the Art Galleries, where I stood attentive of his work. It wasn’t possible for me to see the whole experience in order to have a perspective about his work, and I didn’t want to rush into judgment. The attentiveness I had was caused by the senses that those huge faces on large canvases were only an urge to satisfy the taste of big Art Traders. Only after knowing the Artist on a personal level and his large collection of paintings, and to my surprise I was astonished by his sculptural work that is not any less significant than his artwork and at some points even more important. Only then, was I able to appreciate his great self-confidence about his work and his ability to deliver what he wants without pedantry. His work humbly hides his gifted ability in expressing and using shapes and colors that echo from his inner contradicting urges that he lets out with generous strikes of paint of tortured people whose will has been taken away from them, and have been extremely degraded.

Houmam proceeds with his art in diagnosing crucially and summarizing his way by drawing faces or whole human figures in heavy masses, while these figures preform nothing but portray their inner personal and psychological state. This amplification of figures rises from within the Artist’s adaption to a specific style that he is passionate about and defends greatly. Those personalities and faces developed from reality, except they don’t relate to him. Houmam paints unknown people belonging to a known reality. In fact those figures have been blown up not to serve an unspecified purpose, but rather to increase the senses of the physical nature of these shapes and to transform those realistic figures into an unreal reality from the imagination, a parallel reality that carries out psychological factors that are more beautiful. Houmam intends to rotate and scale those shapes with the flexibility of outlining which gives a three dimensional impression, allowing the background to hold the shape rather than fit it in. By compressing these figures and pushing them downwards towards the ground, it’s as if they are seeking to unite with the earth ensuring their loss of hope in rising up, liberating and starting again. Houmam uses the same logic when sculpting, instead here enters an important factor which helps in reflecting Houmam’s idea of these amplified humanistic figures due to the loss of color which adds a more dramatic and tragic scene. Houmam dresses his characters in a ‘Beret’ on the head all the time in a jumbled manner covering the top area of the head to imply no skull and no dignity. In his latest works, there is a striking attraction towards dense painting on the surface area in dividing the face into two zones, shadow and light. The shadow area has been worked on with beautiful colors with a sweet balance against the light area with a harmonious degree of cold and warm colors.

The works of Houmam were recently presented at auction houses such as the prestigious Sotheby’s in Doha, Qatar and Christie’s in Dubai, where the young artist was of a resounding success.

Edward Shahda
27/07/2012

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