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Sidi El-Karchi, Small world melancholy new paintings and drawings

LMAKprojects (Chelsea)
526 West 26th Street, 3rd Floor, 212-255-9707
July 5 - August 3, 2007
Reception: Thursday, July 5, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Sidi El Karchi was born between 5 and 7 am on March 6, 1975, Sittard, NL – the same day and time frame as Michelangelo. While still a student, he discovered this amazing coincidence, which increased his fascination for the Renaissance and Old Master painters whose influence is still visible in his work today.

It is LMAKprojects’ great pleasure to premier Sidi El Karchi’s exhibition, small world melancholy in New York. On one hand the exhibition’s title suggests a nostalgic allusion to dreams, thoughts and ideas of a youthful past. The artist visualizes these elements in a gorgeous painting that carries the title of the show, which depicts a young teen wearing a hoodie and is starring down. There is no eye contact with the viewer and it seems as if the boy wonders in his own world.

On the other hand, small world melancholy refers to the artist’s first steps into the New York art world. He beautifully translates his hopes and fears in a self-portrait: the Hermit. He portrays himself against a black background, wearing a blue hoodie looking into the dark with a somewhat anxious, somewhat eager gaze.

Sidi El Karchi’s works are mainly portraits of his girlfriend, family and friends. Sometimes he creates landscapes, like Mary and Child, which is based on a statue in Maastricht. As the viewer, you watch over Mary’s shoulder starring into a deep, dark valley. His careful and meticulous attention to light, color and depth results in perfectly composed, light and transparent paintings with a serene and almost religious aura. The starting point for all his works are photographs which he either takes or finds from his subjects. Recently, a photograph of Oprah Winfrey taken during a ceremony for Martin Luther King, left a great impression on the artist which he interpreted into an amazing and powerful portrait of the star. He depicts her almost as a Saint, with her hands folded which is underscored by the title: Icon.

Sidi El Karchi finds his inspiration in our daily lives. He creates surprising and intriguing imagery by omitting unnecessary details. Resulting in mainly flat works without any perspective. He aspires to create a lucid image to establish a relation between the painting and the viewer.

Biography Sidi El Karchi (1975) was born in Sittard, the Netherlands. He currently lives and works in Maastricht, the Netherlands. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts (A.B. K.) in Maastricht. He had had several solo and group exhibitions at the following venues: Het Domein, Sittard; Bonnenfanten Museum, Maastricht; Kunsthal, Rotterdam; Museum Van Bommel, Venlo all in the Netherlands and Ludwig Forum, Aachen, Germany; Biennial Sharjah, Dubai and IKOB in Eupen, Belgium. He received two awards: the ” 2e Van Bommel en van Dam prijs” and “Van den Bergh prijs voor schilderkunst.”

Biography Stijn Huijts (1959) is the director of Museum Het Domein Sittard, the Netherlands. He has a degree in visual arts (Academy of Fine Arts) as well as in cultural science (University of Amsterdam). He has curated numerous international contemporary art exhibitions for Het Domein, such as Pipilotti Rist, Bjarne Melgaard, Ed Templeton, Rita Ackermann, Bas Jan Ader, Öyvind Fahlström, Wim Delvoye, Folkert de Jong, Cao Fei and Ray Johnson. His writings on artists, contemporary art and museums were published in various catalogues, magazines and newspapers. In 2004 Huijts was the curator of the Dutch presentation at the 26th biennial of Sao Paulo, and in 2005 he curated a group show “Capoeira” with Dutch artists for Roberts & Tilton Gallery in Los Angeles. Recently Huijts started the project “Made in Mirrors”, a long-term exchange program with Vitamin Creative Space in China (Guangzhou) and the Museu de Arte Contemporanea Aloisio Magelhaes in Brazil (Recife).
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