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Jehan Saleh

 

In “Insight,” a series of mixed-media-on-canvas paintings, I cover portraits of individuals – friends, colleagues, artists, strangers - that I have taken over a period of two years, with layers of acrylic paint and ink. I present to the viewer a barely visible image of an upside down face gazing intently from under multiple veils of paint and ink.

 

I chose to start the process with a large portrait printed upside down on stretched canvas as a base.
I then begin to cover it with layer after layer of acrylic paint and ink. Eschewing the use of brushes and other painting tools for a limited palette of freely owing colour that I allow to nd its way, under my direction, onto and around the canvas. Using a limited number of colours preserves the simplicity of the work and the concept.

The concept of this exhibition was borne of a single idea: changing a situation or its outcome by changing the perspective from which it is viewed. Thus, the upside down faces looking at the viewer from under the paint allow for an examination from a fresh new perspective which can lead to new, creative solutions to resistant problems, or the discovery of an exciting new aspect to something that had grown stale with time. I aim to engage the viewer on an intimate personal level, provoking him to a deeper self-examination in an attempt to rejuvenate, renew and simplify all in a bid to achieve a new level of contentment.

 

Jehan Saleh

2016