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"I want to draw people in everyday scenes," says Phadi Mubda Alatallah, "but I dissolve perspective, light and dimension"."Dimension beyond," Alatallah's exhibition of 16 canvasses – currently up at Les Plumes, Galerie Elsie Bradie – combines an extraordinary collage of surrealist elements, bright colors and the interplay between light and shadow.Born in Syria in 1972 and living in Europe since 1999, Alatallah does not make art that documents or sublimates the experience of authoritarian rule, revolution or civil war.Rather, his paintings show everyday scenes. The acrylics and oils on canvas that make up Alatallah's current body of work focus less on the subjects and objects than on technique itself, setting surreal elements and shrill colors among chiaroscuro.When he begins a canvas, Alatallah explains, he first draws light and dark spaces as he perceives them in a real-life situation, to which he adds mainly fictional figures, bringing a narrative to the painting. Selective illumination makes the painting seem like a collage of noninteracting persons from different situations.
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