60 x 50 cm
Oil on canvas
Working across printmaking and painting, Hatem Imam’s new body of work explores the quiet tension between the representational and the abstract, the real and the imaginary. The works’ small scale and intricate details underscore a sense of intimacy that compels the viewer to stand close and study the scene carefully. Whilst closeness reveals one perspective of the works, however, distance reveals another – what at first glance appears as a magnified detail may in fact be a wide shot of a landscape. This multiplicity of experiences and interpretations foregrounds the instability of layers that is central to Imam’s works. The title of the series, Cataract, suggests a dual reading. Derived from the Latin cataracta, meaning ‘waterfall’, cataract also denotes the clouding of the eyes’ lenses which leads to blurred vision – a condition informally referred to as ‘white water’ in Arabic (الماءالأبيض). Wavering between monochromatic and colorful, Cataract is a reflection on the limitations of representation and the relationship between the viewer and the view itself.
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About the Artist
Hatem Imam (b. 1978) is a visual artist and graphic designer. He holds a BFA in Graphic design from the American University of Beirut (AUB) and an MA in Fine Arts from the University of Creative Arts in Canterbury, UK. He is the co-founder and creative director of Studio Safar, co-founder of the design and visual culture magazine Journal Safar, co-founder of Samandal Comics, and artistic director of Annihaya Records. He has been teaching at the department of Architecture and Graphic Design at AUB since 2007.
More works by Hatem Imam
Elias and Youssef Anastas
Ever New Idle Eyes
2021 Mixed media with sound piece Dimensions variable