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There is a renascent nostalgia at play in Oussama Baalbaki's "Spectres of the Real," an exhibition of acrylics now on show at Agial Gallery. At first glimpse, the landscapes, still lifes and portraits in this show live up to its name in that what we see and what we have forgotten are both blurred. Baalbaki's work embraces reality, brush strokes weaving modern urban landscapes from country lanes, hilly fields and caves.The artist's acrylic-on-canvas works embody a near-monochromatic style of expressionist realism, anchored by nature and human figures.Baalbaki does an admirable job balancing urban and rural landscapes, but his depictions of villages suggest an unparalleled level of seclusion.Baalbaki's portraits seek to reinvent black-and-white photographic portraits of historical figures.The shadows that gather in "A Nocturnal Promenade" evoke an exemplary contradiction to the romantic atmosphere, a theme which is prominent in nearly all Baalbaki's work.He is a contemporary artist with the profound ability to highlight his own skepticism of the changing architectural, cultural and social environment.
Lost in a legendary wizard's shadow
In the shadow of steel origami
A collusion of color and art history
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