Ali Talib is very frugal with his artistic production. He only paints if his thought is ignited, his soul illumined and his passion charged. He's not one to practice art as a profession, but as a hobby. We didn't find him casual or informal in his works, but rather he was intentional, consciously monitoring every line and every streak throughout his work to gain meaning. Each color has an interpretation and every composition has a purpose, even if it may be concealed within his soul.

Villager (1976) by Ali TALIBIbrahimi Collection


Oil on Canvas, Created in 1976

One day, when he was 28 years old, he was returning from Basra to Baghdad; on the paved road there were so many women villagers presenting the products of their farms to the passing drivers... 

One of them attracted him by her innate beauty, with which she looked to express with a gesture, repressed and held back. Her black crumpled veil gave her an apparent dignity that acts as a barrier, blocking the possibility that it may be a deception or trap. 

This was the story he narrated with passion, and laughingly telling us what motivated him to produce this painting and call it “Villager”.

This painting is Ibrahimi Collection's oldest work from Ali Talib.

Its history coincides with: 
 - Artist's solo exhibition at the National Museum of Modern Art in Baghdad, 1976. 
 - Joint exhibition "The Second Arab Biennial" in Rabat, Morocco, 1976. 
 - Joint exhibition of "Iraqi Art" at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, 1976

Lovers and Mountain (1985) by Ali TALIBIbrahimi Collection

Lovers and Mountain

Oil on Canvas, created in 1985

"In this work, under the shadow of a deaf, mute and blind mountain, two lovers, full of life, cultivated with passion and desire, are eager to meet;

they are in an olive green atmosphere that refers us to the color of fertility and growth. He depicted his figures with grace, glamour and suggestive elegance.

It is a wilderness that presents itself as a theater of reunion, a retreat away from the eyes of snitches and gossipers".

Its history coincides with: 
 - Artist's solo exhibition at Al-Riwaq Gallery in Baghdad, 1985. 
 - Joint exhibition "The First International Biennial" in Ankara, 1986. 
 - Joint exhibition "The first Baghdad International Festival", 1986.

Blockade (2001) by Ali TALIBIbrahimi Collection


Mix Media on Paper, created in 2001

"We find in many of his works the strange presence of a jinn invoked by him to express that which he can't express. 

We'll borrow here what Freud said when he decided to explain some human behavior assuming the existence of two basic instincts, ‘Eros’ and ‘Thanatos’; 

he said that the goal of the former instinct is to establish greater unions, that is, its goal is to combine or construct.

The latter’s goal is the instinct to destruction, to break ties and thus destroy things." - Jebra I. Jebra

Its history coincides with:
- Artist's solo exhibition at Al-Riwaq Gallery in Bahrain, 2001.
- Artist's solo exhibition at the "Eu Man Exhibition" in Vienna, Austria, 2001.

- Artist's solo exhibition at "The Inside of the Outside’ Exhibition" in St. Petersburg, Russia, 2001.
- Artist's solo exhibition at the Academy de Vrije in Netherlands, 2003.

Al-Brahmah Tree (2015) by Ali TALIBIbrahimi Collection

Al-Brahmah Tree

Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, Created in 2015

Ali Talib painted this work, recalling his memories of Basra, which he lost forever and will never return to.

Inspired by the story of his friend, the Basri writer Talib Abdul Aziz, “There once was a tree in the middle of the three roads through which the people of the village of ‘Uwaisiyan enter their homes. 

It was planted about a hundred years ago by Hasan Al-Haji and it remained there, blocking the road leading to Abu Al-Khasib and Basra, for years until the opening of the chemical fertilizer plant at the end of the sixties of the last century.

The people of the village say that they and their fathers have been sitting under this tree for years and years as a gathering spot, for it provided shade under the heat of summer, and their warm refuge in the cold winter. 

It served also as a land of repose during the days of flooding. They would spend their nights under it, hearing the news conveyed by adventurers, arriving by wooden buses from other towns.

The Brahmah is a giant tree, which I saw standing in a leafy, flowering manner, full of colorful migratory birds flying about. The children would gather to play around.

When the municipality uprooted it, it was on a dark night and the next morning, the sky would collapse upon us out of sadness. It left behind a deep chasm and a large trunk lied on its back.

After some days, in a moment of heedlessness, we went to sleep early; someone threw his cigarette inside this tree, burning it thereby”.*

* Adapted from a book "Before the Destruction of Basra, Biography of Water and Palm, p. 122-123 - Talib Abdul Aziz.

Credits: Story

Ibrahimi Collection Team

Credits: All media
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