Wael Darwesh's collection entitled ‘Time Intermezzo' encapsulates the fruits of the artist's experimental foray into the techniques of mixing, synthesis, and composition, a journey that has allowed him to establish the concepts imparting his works with a contemporary artistic vision.
Darwesh engages in the creative process to create a certain artistic state, either in search of his inner self or to unravel the essence of the objects around him in order to come to terms with ideas that spring from real life events, transcending artistic and aesthetic boundaries. Possessed by the passion to create, Darwesh pursues all that is novel and experimental in abstract formats and treatments, much as if the work itself represents the problematics of tangible continuance while adhering to the non-material requisites linked with aesthetic values.
The very title of the artist’s collection, 'Time Intermezzo', takes us by surprise, sparking our curiosity as to whether the displayed works are inspired by the formal, the quirky, or the bizarre (the frivolous). It is these musings that bring us closer to this dynamic artist whose canvas literally bursts forth with a profusion of forms and motifs. The thinking process preceding the actual artwork involves the presentation of a preliminary blueprint where the visual composition is overpowered by an aesthetic intelligence which shapes the formative elements, so that the forms and motifs filling the foreground alternately come together or move apart. Balance is constructed by means of semi-consciously spontaneous formats with the surface of the work is covered with a richly contradictory mosaic representing the artist's accumulated cognitive and sensory experiences. His artistic intelligence disdains elaboration in addressing a certain theme, sufficing with subtle hints to stimulate our curiosity as if the artist has an intuitive feel for our response and sense of engagement within a humanistic framework.
Excluding light and depth, not only does Darwesh immerse himself in the rhythms of colour interplay, but he also draws on an acute sensitivity to the varying hues of colour in order to achieve a balanced palette. He is adept in the manipulation of space and distribution of abstract elements, as if to highlight the harmonious interaction of those elements whose simple lines are shifted from their own reality and re-fashioned in a subtly mystic format to present a completely new reality.
Featured in the works are living forms represented by human and animal figures, including birds, articles of furniture, stairs, and architectural outlines. The blurred features are sometimes simplified, or, alternatively, disfigured; the artist also draws on his vast artistic experiences in the quest for novelty as well as all the possible windows transforming form into a format resembling a symbolically-loaded visual composition, the better to shed a specific reality and soar towards space. Swept up by the artist's expanding expressionist range, the beholder travels along optical pathways forged by the artist by means of signals and marks forming a backdrop which is simultaneously minimalist and brimming with contradictory elements. Wael Darwesh tackles head-on the challenging task of formative transformations; he accomplishes this by the deliberate distortion of his figures, a central feature of his work that goes beyond artistic concerns to attain the core idea of the work. These transformations seek to express the spirit of the moment in order to create a distance between the comprehensible and the imaginary. Portraying his figures inside an interstitial space enriches the work with an abundance of contradictions, within the folds of which we find images of clarity and ambiguity in terms of good and evil. It is as if these images exist in a mythical place where these overlapping givens are simply accepted as a reality, one that personifies the artist's scheme of things abounding in paradoxical and metaphorical elements embossed with the image of man in nature.
Without a doubt, Wael Darwesh's works seek to achieve a meeting of the mind between artist and beholder as evident by the obsessive narrative and artistic vision pursued by the artist. This is why we find recurring figurative transformations by deliberate distortion to heighten the expressionist power of the work in addition to the heavily symbolic elements in emotional states and responses through which the artist attempts to find value and meaning. Unfettered by logical reality, the artist's imaginative capacity represents a serious attempt to introduce a contemporaneous format. The artist employs symbolic aspects in depicting the figures and motifs in the works to signal the quest for salvation and resistance to slackness in performance; despite the jumble and energy, the interplaying movement of his figures ultimately evokes a sense of sadness and isolation.
Professor/ Emad Abou-Zeid
Art Appreciation Dpt.
Faculty of Art Education