Who: Ali Sabri
Age: 22 yo
From: Babylon, Iraq
For some people, the horrifying get-away from their country is the occasion to develop as a person. For example Ali. Ali discovered as a boy the art of painting, and got fascinated by it. But his life in Iraq was too much a survival for him to develop himself as a painter. Living in Belgium is for him an opportunity to become a better artist. “Living also means for me being allowed and being able to express myself in my paintings. When I was 6, my father saw that I had talent for drawing. And so he let me go visit a friend of his, who is a professional artist. Under his influence I immediately started painting very difficult, classical works in order to improve my technique. Once my technique is good enough, I want to develop my own style and be very good at it."
It is primarily the reality that inspires him. "I try not to transform reality, I like what I see around me and I want to put whatever affects me as expressive as possible on the canvas and enter into a dialogue with the person looking at the painting. My paintings show what is going on in my head, both negative and positive things. I love art where you find life itself. That's why I really like to paint people, because every man breathes a different story. In terms of color, it is also a challenge to approach as closely as possible the human skin. Skin is never black or white, it has - like the people I put on canvas - a very subtle palette."
Ali cannot sit still, he is committed to all kinds of non-profit organizations - he is a towering figure in Cinemaximiliaan vzw - and sometimes he wanders through the streets just to be surrounded by other people. "But when I paint, I immediately find rest in my head. It keeps me going."