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Bailey Contemporary Arts newest exhibit "Spiritual Vessels," features the paintings of Tony Khawam and the clay ceramic sculptures of Jeff Whyman. Khawam's new collection, 'Syria - Aleppo Urban Landscapes,' presents a semi-abstract vision of Syria's war-torn cities. Khawam invited Whyman to partner with him on this exhibit as he felt a spiritual connection between their works. The exhibit will run from Dec. 1, 2017 through Jan. 5, 2018. Visit the website for information about the opening reception and artists' talk.

Bailey Contemporary Arts

Tony Khawam's Vision of Syria's War-torn Cities and Jeff Whyman's Intergalactic Vessels

(POMPANO BEACH, Fla.) -- NEWS: Bailey Contemporary Arts (www.baileyarts.org) newest exhibit "Spiritual Vessels," features the paintings of Tony Khawam and the clay ceramic sculptures of Jeff Whyman. Khawam's new collection, "Syria- Aleppo Urban Landscapes," presents a semi-abstract vision of Syria's war-torn cities. Khawam invited Whyman to partner with him on this exhibit as he felt a spiritual connection between their works. The exhibit will run from December 1, 2017 through January 5, 2018. Visit the website for information about the opening reception and artists' talk.

Khawam stopped painting in 2001 after the events of 9/11, but picked up his brush again in 2015 having been 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 experience both the sadness of the scene and a hopeful feeling," explained Juliana Forero, Ph.D., BaCA's gallery manager.

Khawam accomplishes this paradox by using a colorful palette to paint the neighborhoods by deconstructing the painting with the single stroke method. This allows the work to appear intact while at the same time viewers see the tragic reality of haunting, disturbing scenes. It also offers viewers a unique vision of his application and method, which is evident in the contemporary art direction of his paintings.

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 offers 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 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 sculptures I grew up seeing in the national museums of Aleppo and Damascus."

Bailey Contemporary Arts is located at 41 NE 1st Street, Pompano Beach, FL 33060. For more information call 954-284-0141.

More information: http://www.baileyarts.org/.

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