Khaled Akil: I STOPPED, I SAW
January 11 - 14, 2018
Opening: Thursday, January 11, 2017, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
The moment everything stops, even for a second, is when you can see life and the world for what it is.
John Doe is pleased to present Khaled Akil: I STOPPED, I SAW, the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York on view from January 11 to January 14, 2018. In his new series, I STOPPED, I SAW, Khaled Akil finds a new shift in his artistic practice, nothing to do with social and political issues in the Middle East, and examines his personal interconnectedness with the world and humanity at large.
In I STOPPED, I SAW, Akil compares the modern society to a fishbowl. Humans have forgotten their natural relationship to the world and have limited themselves to an artificial habitat, finding themselves in a state of anxiety, depression and mass despair. Repeating the process of hand painting on and around the fish on the surface of the scanner and using elements such as human hair, soap, or foam, Akil creates variations of the same paintings. The artist makes a statement that the human race cannot survive unless they change the way they think, behave and act. Encompassing humanity as a whole, I STOPPED, I SAW removes the artist’s identity and ideology.
Born in Aleppo, Syria, Akil graduated from Beirut Arab University with a Bachelor’s degree in Law and Political Science in 2009. After graduating, the self-taught photographer returned to Syria just prior to the nation’s Civil War, where he sought to discuss the nation’s complexities through his artwork. His work is a “hybrid of photography and painting” and is pregnant with layers of ancient scripts and symbols, exemplifying the intricacies of modern-day Syria as seen in The Unmentioned (2011) and Legend of Death (2013) series. Since 2009, Akil has held several solo shows in Syria and abroad in London and in Istanbul, where the artist has periodically resided during the conflict at his native country.