Thursday, October 21, 2010

Abed Al-Rahim Salim

In the year 2002, Fifty artists accepted the Lebanese people invitation. They came to Lebanon with the hope in turning the negative experience into a positive one. It was twenty two years of occupation by Israel to the south of Lebanon. It had a long impacts and deeper scars in the mind and the souls of people in southern Lebanon .

When fifty artists from around the world and the Middle East came to "Kheyyam" Khaim prison, they came with a message and optimism, they were the pilgrimages who came to revive the spirit of the Lebanese people and make them feel as if they were just born yesterday and no pain from their past. After all the prison became a holy place which held thousands of children, women, sage, and young . They all were the victims of the Israeli aggregation and torture .

Among those artists who came to the south was Abed Al-Rahim Salim; He was born in United Arab Emirates 1955, Abed Al-Rahim studied Art in Cairo and he exhibited in many shows around the Arab World. In his large painting titled "The torturing chair ". oil on canvas 200x300 cm, Abed Al-Rahim was able to give us expressions of hunting images of nude bodies and people being tortured.

He divided the composition into three parts. A group of five bodies on the left facing away from the center. On the right of the composition he added two more nude bodies with an iron pole in the back ground.
The most important part of the painting is a very wide yellow space that symbolized the light coming through the window, here Abed Al-Rahhim placed another nude body who was blind folded and was seated on a red chair.

The red and the yellow colors are the two strong colors which balanced the composition and pulled the painting to the center. In doing this the artist didn't allow the viewing eye to wander and to leave the painting.

The artist was very successful in transforming the pain and the suffering from the torturing room in Khaim prison into his canvas. Those images of the Torturing Red Chair will stay implanted and inprinted in us as long as the story is being told to future generation though art , music and literature. Sadly enough similar images of the torturing rooms became a reality later in Abu Greab prison.

Naim Farhat

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