Today we’d like to introduce you to Tony Khawam.
Tony, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I stopped painting in 2001 after the events of 9/11 but picked up my brush again in 2015 influenced by the Syrian crisis that ravages my 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, my family immigrated to the US in 1976 and became a naturalized citizen five years later.
I exhibited my abstract works in New York City and New Jersey throughout the nineties and early two thousand with the same theme of “New York Metro Urban & Industrial Landscapes”. My work showcased shapes, colors, texture, and techniques with several layers of paint. The semi-abstract work was my interpretation of a vision derived from modern life influenced by the new technology, urban scenes, and city scape with a bird’s-eye view.
The method of my painting is spontaneous with the rapid execution of painterly expressionist approach and equated with a storytelling of the human genius in developing the land to best suit our inhabitant of modern industrial and corporate world that shaped our live-work-play lifestyle.
The recent direction is expressed primarily through the use of accumulative strokes and the manipulation of paint to create an abstract interpretation. “Viewers at first glance see and experience both the sadness of the scene and at the same time a hopeful feeling” explained Juliana Morello, the curator of Bailey Contemporary Arts gallery in Pompano Beach (Fort Lauderdale).
Where khawam is showcasing his works during Art Miami Week and at Red Dot Art Miami. Khawam accomplishes this paradox by using a colorful palette to paint the neighborhoods by deconstructing the painting with the single stroke method and make it appears intact while at the same time allowing us to see the tragic reality of haunting, disturbing scenes and offers us a unique vision in my application and method of paint which is evident in the new art direction of my paintings.”
I moved my family in 2015 from New Jersey to South Florida and realized the need for a contemporary art gallery. I met Jeff Whyman at the Boca Art museum exhibition and felt an instant affinity for his work. My wife Mirna Asmar and I established Khawam Gallery in 2017 and invited Jeff Whyman to showcase his ceramic sculptures “Intergalactic Vessels” with my recent paintings of “Syria – Aleppo Urban Landscapes” with a title of “Spiritual Vessels”. The exhibition touched and moved so many people who attended Red Dot Art Miami exhibition and two NYC art collectors acquired most of the work exhibited at Red Dot Miami.
During Red Dot Art Miami; I’ve met two other good artists, the first is a sculptor from Armenia name Mkrtich Mazmarian who resides in Beirut Lebanon and exhibit globally, his main theme is the “female body” sculpted in Resin and Bronze in a semi-abstract style. The third artists Erin Fromkes who I met during her solo exhibition at Cornell Museum in Delray Beach.
And also felt an instant affinity for her semi-abstract paintings expressed primarily of her recent personal illness and the will to paint during this period. The four artists will be showcased at Art Palm Beach in West Palm Beach Convention Center from January 17-21, 2018. The selection of artists to be part of Khawam Gallery exhibitions are based on personal storytelling with a fresh and contemporary creative approach.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Choosing the right art venue is the right way to reach the art audience, collectors, and the media. Not every gallery in South Florida is an opportunity to exhibit, therefore we must choose the right art fairs and curated gallery exhibitions in Florida and other states.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
Every artist has a story, some more compelling than others and if an artist chooses art to express his/her vision with a contemporary approach than that’s what we’re looking for to exhibit at Khawam Gallery.
The story method continuity of theme materials and the execution are the differentiating factors in choosing artists that help sets us a part from very crowded the so-called “art markets”. Many galleries are commercial and exhibit what sells to the mass audience, Khawam gallery exhibit only contemporary creative and unique works of arts that appeal and dazzle collectors and curators.
What were you like growing up?
I spent my teen years in Aleppo, Syria before immigrating to the US in 1976. My interest was always art, I was known in elementary and middle school as the “artist” took early art classes at Aleppo art academy on weekends. And used to be a frequent visitor of the national museums of Aleppo and Damascus”. With the best ancient artifacts of early civilization of Mesopotamian and Assyrian art.
Personality wise very reserve and always like to research and learn especially the arts and history of different cultures and civilizations.
- The gallery pricing is between $5,000-$15,000 of mid-career to established artists
- Website: http://www.khawamgallery.com – http://www.tonykhawamart.com
- Phone: 201-621-5474
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tony_khawam/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KhawamGallery
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/Tony_Khawam
Jeff Whyman, Erin Fromkes, Mkrtich Mazmarian