Khaled TAKRETI, Joujoux, Hiboux, Cailloux, 2007-2008. Mixed media on strong paper, 130 x 320 cm.
Khaled Takreti is Syrian, born in 1964 in Beirut. He left to study architecture and design as well as engraving at the University of Damascus, before devoting himself to painting, which became a passion and a therapy from the 1990s. After travelling to Egypt and USA, he moved to Paris in the early 2000s.
“ These different places of residence have contributed to forging his questioning of the notions of identity and origin, which focuses less on geographical or cultural aspects than on his family roots. This no doubt explains the recurring presence in his work of family portraits, in particular of his mother. Each painting then becomes the page of a diary. However, far from retreating into a personal drama, Khaled Takreti opens up, over the years, to a more universal perspective, to which the internal Syrian and Lebanese conflicts - both political and societal - are no strangers.
His pictorial language, very close to Pop art, allows him to approach the failings of the world around him (for example the excesses linked to the consumer society, the restrictions of freedom) with a sarcastic humor tinged with self-derision, when he includes his own image in his composition. This humor, however, rests on an obvious basis of seriousness; it seems to correspond to the brilliant definition given by Chris Marker “the politeness of despair” and always translates a second degree.
His paintings are exhibited on the international scene and are kept in private and public collections (Syrian National Museum in Damascus, Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Museum of the Institute of the Arab World in Paris, National Museum of Immigration History in Paris.). (Thierry Savatier)
Joujoux, Hiboux, Cailloux was produced in 2007. Khaled Takreti has just moved to Paris, after following his partner. Nine months of isolation and confinement in their apartment followed. Khaled Takreti needs time; he enters into a creative introspection from which will be born nine canvases, produced during these nine months cut off from the world. The same face is reproduced tirelessly, that of his companion who becomes a child, mother, father, friend. This creative confinement will give rise to a final monumental and masterful canvas, a real condensed version of this inner quest. Joujoux, Hiboux, Cailloux thus stages the same face, that of the loved one, the only one that Khaled sees and rediscovers day after day for nine months.
These colorful, picturesque and sometimes zany characters cannot hide the great melancholy that emanates from the looks and postures. The linear composition and the frontal discovery of the faces partition, enclose almost each character in his individuality. The meeting, the exchange between the protagonists is impossible, an allegory of both the closeness of life together and the distance, the loneliness of modern life that domesticity alone cannot solve. “The impassive faces don’t reveal anything about the traumas or what holds the relationships of all these characters together. The pretense of the clothes, made from collages, and the obliteration of the silhouettes, covered with a uniform color, break with any search for veracity and contribute to a certain form of visual indifference.” (Khaled Takreti)