French-Egyptian artist Katherine Bakhoum
French-Egyptian artist Katherine Bakhoum features her latest collection under the theme ‘Carnaval’ this month at Safarkhan. In her 15th showing at the gallery, Bakhoum tries her talented hand at something comparatively new and refreshing, with smaller more intimately sized paintings in contrast to her usually expansive canvases. Bakhoum’s artistic style is a marriage of her multicultural upbringing, which saw her spend her childhood years in Egypt, before moving to her also-native France later on.
In this showing we see her characteristic realism in abundance yet again, this time exploring a theme that is also a new domain for her artistically, that of the colorful world of festivals, carnivals and circuses.
Bakhoum is renowned above all as an expert colorist, with the talent for combining diverse hues and working her palette in ways that few other artists can master. In this collection she shows a welcome versatility and has reduced the portions of her pieces, whilst utilizing an even more eclectic mix of contrasting tones of paint, which she blends together with magnificent taste. There are dreamy landscape vistas, and intriguingly dressed characters set amidst detailed stylized bordering and backgrounds full of decorative patterns, adding an unmistakable new dimension to her work.
This is a special facet of this collection, framing the artwork within the canvas itself in complementary and thematic elements. Some of these offer the sensation as though she is brushing off the dust collected by time and unveiling the picturesque vision of a long lost memory to us.
This collection showcases a celebration of movement and dance, highlighting the beauty of performance art in a sensitive and experimental way. Bakhoum directs our attention with intuitive and detailed brushstrokes to the flowing garments and costumes of her subjects. There is a concerted effort to depict stage-wear in all its grandiosity, typically one of the striking aspects of Bakhoum’s art, and this collection is no exception.
We often see billowing dresses with ornate embellishments, dancers and performers resplendent in clothing that seamlessly blends with the patterns and aesthetics of their backgrounds, created through a special canvas treatment using layering and mixed media. Overall, this is another stunning effort from Bakhoum, one that tackles the amusing world of performance art in her characteristic style, this time with new key facets.