Born and raised in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Faisal Abdulaziz AlKheriji is a self-taught contemporary artist whose work is inspired by the world around him, in hopes of fulfilling his vision of representing culture differently.
Food Coma - تخمة أكل Faisal Alkheriji
Influenced by well known artists such as Picasso, Condo and many others, Faisal AlKheriji created his own unique painting style, which mixes Saudi heritage, cubism, and surrealism to create distinct characteristic portraits that reflects his culture in an incredibly unique way. We caught up with the artist about the concepts behind his work and his creative vision for the future.
Can you tell us about your journey into art?
I started sketching as kid and it has been my hobby ever since, as time went by and I continued sketching, I developed and learned different techniques that shaped what my art has come to today.
What are the concepts behind your work?
My goal is to represent my culture differently with my art, to show how rich and beautiful our culture is but by painting it in a slightly different and unique way.
You paint in a cubist style, with references to your heritage. Can you tell us a bit more about how you developed this style, and why your work is inspired by cubism?
My learning journey was influenced by many artists, one of them being Picasso who is the master of cubism. I started copying his paintings as a kid and have been in love with cubism ever since then. And as I try to paint my culture and portray it in a different way, I felt cubism was the right fit for me to do so.
REEMalisa - ريماليزا Faisal Alkheriji
How does your work connect with your cultural roots?
My work is always based on, inspired and referencing my culture, and its helping me learn much more about my culture as I keep researching and getting inspired to paint.
Does the representation of your identity as a Muslim matter in your work?
I try my best to not paint anything related to religion, but always make sure I respect my religion in my work and never paint anything that my religion would be against
Untitled V, Faisal Alkheriji
If you had to choose one of your works as a standout piece you are most proud of, which would that be and why?
It would be Men in Saudi Arabia, as it was representing different cultural elements including the tent, and the kashta, with many small details as well all related to this cultural act, and I also really liked the color combination in that painting.
Men of Saudi Arabia - رجال السعودية Faisal Alkheriji
What is your artistic process like and what mediums to you use to create your paintings?
I use acrylics on canvas mostly, and my process is really simple in all honesty. Once I find inspiration I start my paintings right away, and if I can't I sketch my ideas down on a paper until I am able to properly paint them onto a canvas.
Who inspires you in the art world today and why?
I am most inspired by Pablo Picasso and George Condo, because of their very unique painting style that stands out from any other artists.
Can you tell us about any projects / exhibitions / commissions you are working on that we should look out for?
I am currently working on a collection of outfits of the region, trying to portray how each region has their own outfits that they are known for, hopefully I will display them in a gallery after they are done.
Farida - فريدة Faisal Alkheriji
What does the future of Islamic art look like to you?
I see a really bright future for local artists as the art scene keeps getting bigger in the region, and more people are learning more, and have easier access to practicing art which will really help bring out amazing talents from the region and create great pieces for the rest of the world to see.
Find out more about Faisal Alkheriji here: www.artbyfaisal.com
The views of the interviewees who are featured in Bayt Al Fann do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Bayt Al Fann, its owners, employees and affiliates.