A rising star in the art world – Interview with Faik Al-Aboudi, painter and designer

A rising star in the art world – Interview with Faik Al-Aboudi, painter and designer

He was born in Baghdad, and has lived in Switzerland since 1999. Faik is a talented artist who has received several international distinctions for his art work. Let us briefly mention that he has received the silver medal from the Italian Arts Academy and multiple appreciation certificates.

As he often says himself, “I’m from the country of the east, the country of sun, light, colors, history and the stories of a thousand and one nights. With a burning passion for exploration, I love paint and its smell. I love colors and I enjoy playing with it on the fabric of my paintings. Sometimes it’s a canvas, other times paper and even wood. In my childhood I stood tall in front of clay and stone sculptures that were made by my Sumerian ancestors which today provide me with the treasure of inspiration. Ancient symbols of an extinct world living on today. I used layers of paint that I make appear ancient to help create the image of a long-forgotten time”.

Q: Could you tell us a little about your background as an Iraqi-Swiss artist?

A: I am an Iraqi-Swiss artist, specializing in painting and design. In 1999, I sought refuge in Switzerland, escaping the oppressive regime of Saddam Hussein. Switzerland not only provided a safe haven for me but also welcomed my three children, Laith, Loubna, and Louai. I hold deep gratitude for this country, and today, I proudly hold Swiss nationality.

Q: What in your long and impressive international career, with its multitude of shows, has provided you with a huge particular and personal satisfaction?

A: The global reach of my artistic paintings to various countries attests to the profound impact of my work. Privacy is a crucial aspect of my artistic endeavors, as each painting I create is unique and never replicated. Notably, my name and one of my artworks have become part of the cultural heritage of the Swiss city of Lausanne, a place that holds deep significance for me.

Q: When we look at your art, we see a mix of modernity and ancient times. What role does the historical Babylonian/Mesopotamian heritage play in your art?

A: Hailing from a country with a civilization spanning millennia, I take pride in the ancient culture that has contributed to humanity’s knowledge of writing, music, art, and law. The rich history of these civilizations serves as an endless source of inspiration, influencing my art by seamlessly blending ancient themes with a contemporary touch. It’s a beautiful fusion of the old and the new, connecting the past with the present.

Q: You obviously have a very busy life with several exhibits a year. Could you tell us a little more about your new projects?

A: Indeed, I have successfully completed 32 solo art exhibitions held across various countries, with Switzerland being a prominent host. Currently, I am immersed in preparations for a new exhibition scheduled for the sixth month of 2024 at the Egyptian Opera House. Additionally, I’ve recently finished a large painting measuring 2 meters by 2 meters, which the Iraqi government and the Ministry of Culture plan to present as a gift to a United Nations office in Geneva.

Q: Your country of origin, Iraq, has experienced numerous challenges in the last 40 years. What role do you think art can play in the “new Iraq”?

A: Through my art and exhibitions, I aim to initiate meaningful dialogues with audiences about the nature of my work and Iraq’s ancient history. This inevitably leads to discussions about the challenges and wars that Iraq has faced, as well as the current political landscape. As an artist, I see myself as an ambassador of love and peace for Iraq, tasked with clarifying perspectives and dispelling misconceptions perpetuated by biased or malicious media. I am optimistic about Iraq’s recovery and its swift progress.

Q: Finally, what are your future plans beyond the new projects you just mentioned?

A: My wife and I have been discussing an exciting idea, and I am eager to bring it to fruition—venturing into the world of fashion. Perhaps in the near future, we will introduce this as another form of art that can enrich our lives.

Thank you for this engaging conversation and the wonderful opportunity to share my story.