Interview: Ajyad Al Khalifa

Interview: Ajyad Al KhalifaImage courtesy of Ajyad Al Khalifa

Interview: Ajyad Al Khalifa

Luca Curci talks with Ajyad Al Khalifa during CONTEMPORARY VENICE 2018 at Misericordia Archives.

I was born in May 2003 in Montreal, Canada. My nationality is Bahraini and Bahrain is where I live. I attend an American-based international high school. I value my friends and spending time with them. I enjoy playing basketball, and I love music of all genres, and of course, I love art. I started practicing art in kindergarten, where I would draw butterflies and flowers every day. My practice in drawing then lead me to design and fashion, and ever since late middle school/early high school, I started to be engaged and invest my time in the practice of fine arts. I continue the practice and studies of fine arts today, and hopefully, I will forge a career in art.

                                                                                                                                              

Interview: Ajyad Al KhalifaImage courtesy of Ajyad Al Khalifa

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Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Ajyad Al Khalifa – Art for me is an escape, an entrance to another dimension and world, one where there is no degrading of others as there is in this one. Art is like a friend that willingly listens to all you have to say with no judgment. The only way I get to fully let out my emotions, thoughts, and how I feel in certain situations is through my Art. Art can be anything and is truly everything. Art is incorporated in everything we see, feel, and hear, Art is the atmosphere we live in. There will never be a fixed definition of art, as it means something different to each and every one. For one to have the ability to emit emotions to another simply through their art is what inspires me to keep creating Art.

LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
AAK – Ever since I was in Kindergarten, I would constantly draw. From drawing I turned to fashion, and after I was very into and invested in fashion, I slowly found myself turning to and enjoying the practice of the fine arts. From then I would go buy sketchbook after sketchbook, drawing, painting, sculpting. From my practice, I have the skills I have today. My work is ever so diverse, each one of my pieces different from the next, and this is because my inspiration to create is always changing. My work gets influenced by everything I see, everything I hear and all that I feel. While creating artworks I often have played in the background historical fantasy TV series and those that are mostly based around the time of the Renaissance. I have always been inspired by Leonardo da Vinci and because of that I decided to watch the TV series “Da Vinci’s Demons”.

LC – What is the most challenging part about creating your artworks?
AAK – The most challenging part about creating my works is something that changes with the piece and the materials and media I am using to create it; however, a struggle I find I have with many of my pieces is time. As I am a high school student currently in Grade 10. I find it hard to be able to consistently work on my pieces. Once I graduate and go to college, I’ll be able to invest all my time in developing my artistic skills and creating more pieces.

LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
AAK – I wouldn’t really define my art as having a certain style, as I practice with a variety of media and constantly try to show diversity in my pieces, I am still experimenting and trying to find my style in art or an element I can implement in my pieces that would make it recognizable and evident that it is a work of mine. Over the years I have turned to paint more, with less focus on drawing, but soon after I finish a current painting I will invest more time into sketching and developing my drawing skills.                                                                                                                                                   

Interview: Ajyad Al KhalifaImage courtesy of Ajyad Al Khalifa

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LC – Do you agree with our vision of art and what do you think about the theme of the festival?
AAK – I absolutely agree with the ITSLIQUID art vision, as it provides many opportunities to artists and is a friendly and motivating platform for artists to grow. The theme of this year’s CONTEMPORARY ART VENICE exhibition was the carnivale Venice holds every year. I really enjoyed the theme; it allowed artists to get creative and fun with their pieces, using vibrant colors, creating pieces that reflect the excitement and spirit of the carnivale.

LC – In which way did the artwork presented in our exhibition connect with the festival’s theme?
AAK – In this year’s exhibition I had two artworks presented. Two paintings, one called “Cavallo di Carnevale di Venezia”, and the other “Lenti Ottiche”. My painting “Cavallo di Carnevale di Venezia” shows the Venetian spirit, as it is seen in the colours, the painting is a depiction of the bold adventure that is Venetian life. The subject of my painting is one of the horses of Saint Mark, strong and evocative, and on the background, it reveals the carnival harlequin pattern. My other painting “Lenti Ottiche” is one of an eye backed up with striped colors of yellow, green, blue, pink, orange, and red. The eye and colors represent all the fun, colors, and thrill that meets the eye in the festival.

LC – What do you think about ITSLIQUID Platform?
AAK – I believe that the ITSLIQUID platform is an open door for determined artists to gain recognition and be able to present their works to a global audience, motivating and inspiring them to become better and proud of themselves and what they have achieved. It is quite a unique chance to have artworks hanging in Venetian buildings!

LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
AAK – As the ITSLIQUID GROUP is dedicated to the worldwide distribution of works, and it provides a great opportunity for artists all over the globe to share their works with all. The ITSLIQUID GROUP gave me the greatest opportunity I’ve ever gotten for my art, and that was to have it hung in Venice, for all to see. Since I dream and plan on going to Italy to attend art college, ITSLIQUID GROUP has also given me something I can be proud of and share when I apply for colleges in Italy. I see it as my first professional step in terms of my art career.

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