On display this month at Asheville Gallery of Art (AGA), Imageries of Life features the work of figurative artist, painter and sculptor Sahar Fakhoury, who was The Laurel’s cover artist in February. The show will present a series of the artist’s new work and AGA will host a reception on Friday, April 7, from 5–8 p.m.
Born and raised in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, the artist has been a resident of the Asheville area for the past 27 years. She has a BFA from UNC Asheville and teaches oil painting from her studio, Sahar Fakhoury Fine Arts, in Trackside Studios at 375 Depot Street in the River Arts District.
“I am exploring the art of portrait with a twist,” says Fakhoury. “I maintain the likeness and essence of the subjects, while infusing the paintings with vivid light and color.” Continuing a theme from her childhood as a gymnast and dancer, Fakhoury’s most recent work is inspired by the human body in motion, which, for her, represents the instability of life. “Moving to another city or country, starting new jobs and experiencing a sudden change in health are just some examples,” she says. “Some of us put on several hats daily.”
The majority of her works are oil paintings on canvas, created with high-quality materials. She also does some watercolors and mixed media, as Asheville Gallery of Art Presents Sahar Fakhoury’s Imageries of Life well as figurative ceramic sculpture. “As my work evolves,” she says, “I explore how much depth I can achieve by layering the figure and overlapping positions, pushing some layers in and pulling others out.”
Fakhoury says most of her subjects are people she encounters on the street. “Sometimes a certain motion, or a state of mind or an expression sparks an idea. Other times I have something in mind and I look for it in people on the street, or while traveling. I often have my camera; I often use several pictures as a reference to create my own expression.”
While her figurative interpretations are literal, they can also operate on several metaphorical levels at once. “I take my subjects out of their original context, which leaves room for the viewer’s interpretation and imagination as to where and why this took place,” she says. “Often the works have multiple meanings, and I am always happy to hear viewers interpreting them the way they see them.”
Fakhoury’s pieces have been shown in solo and group exhibits in several states and abroad and are part of public and private collections around the world. Her work, as well as that of the other 30 AGA members, will be on display and for sale throughout the month. Asheville Gallery of Art is located at 82 Patton Avenue in Asheville, across from Pritchard Park. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1–4 p.m. Sundays.
To learn more, call 828.251.5796, visit ashevillegallery-of-art.com or follow the gallery’s Facebook page