With his second solo exhibition in Jordan, Jodar Artistry hosted the Egyptian artist Ibrahim El Tanbouli‘s latest collection on the night of March 7th.

Jordan is indeed a dear place to me, I lived here for 7 years. I used to practice art after my full-time job. This is my second solo exhibition in Amman.
Scenes from the opening reception at Jodar Artistry

The exhibition is a compilation of 32 paintings from different eras of the artist’s career. Each artwork narrates a tale in blast of colors and untamed strokes.

There is not a specific theme or subject matter behind this compilation. I picked pieces that represent major eras in my work as an artist, so you will find different pieces from different times. Abstract, representational, everything.
El Tanbouli, Untitled, Oil on Canvas,  100x120cm, 2012

Ibrahim’s parents refused art to be dictated by profit making, which in their eyes strips it of its natural flux. Therefore, El Tanbouli was encouraged to study at the Faculty of Commerce to sustain a living while practicing an exempt art. The idea of a liberated, constraint-free art is also valued by Ibrahim who deliberately refuses to adhere to any art school. To him, art is a way of adding a personal trace into this world which should be genuine and honest to better reflect the uniqueness of his experiences. He explains:

My art represents my impressions about different experiences, I try to isolate from any external influences and acknowledge the unique experience of mine. These paintings are not representations of scenes I have encountered in the cities I visited, they represent ,what I feel about them. My art is the medium with which I express my true perception of different experiences in life.
El Tanbouli, Untitled, Oil on Canvas, 70x45cm, 2017 and Untitled, Oil on Canvas, 100x120cm, 2013

El Tanbouli is well-known for his lucid paintings. They are unified in his use of a strikingly vivid color scheme. In some of his work, the artist relies on heavily defined black and white intermittent lines. While in other paintings only few prominent dribbles and gestural strokes of colors are used. The artist experiments mixing multiple techniques.  In some paintings, textures are created with an palette knife, while in others, by engraving lines and shapes into the paint using different tools. When asked about his technique, he said:

I do not stick to one technique; you will always find me experimenting with one until I understand it to a certain level, then I try another and get back to the previous technique to add a bit more to it, and so on and so forth.
Scenes from the opening reception at Jodar Artistry

Each of the paintings has a story, and all agreed to carry elements of cultural motifs within their compositions. El Tanbouli generously adds different elements from food to traditional Egyptian Jalabya (traditional garment) to the traditional Fez (headdress usually in red), to pop musical instruments like Def. These elements, along with the stylistic depiction of the figures in profile which a reminiscent of ancient Egyptian drawings, are a nod to the artist’s background.

El Tanbouli, Untitled, Oil on Canvas, 2014 (painted after his visit to France)
All pieces here represent my background expect for one which I drawn right after my trip to France about the impression it left me with. I even used materials that I bought from there.

El Tanbouli draws emphasis on the sentimental space his work occupies in his journey as a human. His work is a way to express, to be true to his inner voice and a way to reflect on his observant eye. To him, it does not matter how long it takes to complete a work, his only concern is the genuinity of the messages conveyed.

El Tanbouli, Untitled, Oil on Canvas, 120x100cm, 2013
For instance; sometimes I spend a lot of time working on something and eventually discard it only because I do not feel it really reflects my true perception while, on contrary, some pieces might take less time of working but are more honest. The finished pieces are the ones that give me the right vibe.

El Tanbouli delivers unique compositions to his viewers, the current collection on display at Jodar Artistry is no exception. Catch the show ongoing through March 28th.

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Image courtesy of Jodar Artistry.