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Tayseer Barakat was born in Gaza in 1959 and completed his arts education in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1983. After completing his studies, he moved to Ramallah where he has since based – both teaching and creating art. Barakat has worked with a variety media and has experimented widely – with wood, metal and glass – and has become one of Palestine’s foremost artists working today. Painting remains his first love and he continues to work at a prolific rate, drawing on the artistic heritage of the region and its ancient influences.
Barakat is one of Palestine’s preeminent artists whose practice has drawn inspiration from the ancient past and from the oral traditions and cultural narratives that are intimately tied to life in Palestine. Working primarily in paint, inks, and dyes, he uses a color palette that is often limited to monochrome tones, which imbues his works with a certain soberness. In Barakat’s words, the dark colors he uses “reflect the hardships of our time and our present life. I think the pressure on us makes us use dark colors.”
His solo exhibitions included Sao Paulo Biennale, Sao Paulo, Brazil in 1996, The Number that Became a Name, Ramallah in 2006 and Distant Voices – Zawyeh Gallery, Ramallah in 2014. In addition, he has held 10 solo exhibitions and has participated in numerous group exhibitions with many of his contemporaries in Japan, USA, Brazil, Europe and across the Arab world.