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Georges Bassil | ALIVE

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Bassil resorts to his characteristic 'contrast of thick, textured brush strokes with delicate and expressive subject matter.' (Wilson-Degrazia, 2015), making Alive stylistically consistent with his earlier work. His colour palette, however, is strikingly warmer with gold, tan and even earthy browns replacing his trademark reds.

 

The dark backgrounds recede, focusing attention on Bassil's elegant, solipsistic dancers. Character- ized by an abject lack of detail, the often solid-black background further isolates the subjects from the viewer by frustrating the latter's ability to discern any reference to a place or a time, firmly rendering both irrelevant.

 

Although inspired by Bassil's love of music, evident in the paintings' romantic lyricism, the works themselves exude a peaceful silence which feels like a complete absence of sound. The subjects, predominantly female, though at times androgynous, dominate the canvas. Their large, heavily made-up eyes are averted, their attention focused inwards. Though seemingly peaceful, their mood remains inscrutable, leaving the viewer securely shut out of their world.

 

Bassil’s happiness is clearly achieved through detachment rather than acceptance, but he appears keenly aware of fragility the fragility of this state. Thus, he insulates his beautifully theatrical subjects in a timeless bubble to shield them from the violence.

 

Sulaf Derawy Zakharia

2017