Artist Aladdin Al Baradoni: “I draw for people” [Archives:2001/26/Last Page]

June 25 2001

Artist Aladdin Hussain Naser Al Baradoni, 22years old is from Dhamar. an awarded scholar to Syria in Plastic art by Minister of Education Mr. Abdul Wahab Al Rawhani,along with Amal Abdulsalam and Majida Al-Sheibani. The three artists are displaying their works in a two week exhibition since Wednesday last week.
Aladdin spoke to the Yemen Times about his paintings. Regarding beginning, he said: “My painting consist of those I do out of personal interest and those are the ones I display in exhibitions. And those I paint commercially are for others such as personal portraits, signboards, and calligraphy. People come to know about me through my gallery and they ask to draw a portrait of them.
Q: When was your talent discovered?
A: I started painting at the elementary school. I always wanted to be distinguished from all other students. When I was in the fourth grade, I drew a picture of animals in water colors. The teacher was very impressed and I realized that I had a special talent, which was a hope for me to be some one special. I wanted to do my best in the art works. I started to study in the general library in Dhamar and read about the plastic art, I used to imitate other painters, trying to analyze other works. Through this study I found that I was interested in the classical school of arts especially in the renaissance era. Leonardo Davinshi, Michael Angelo, and Rafael impress me. These three are my favorite inspirations, from those works I discover styles and realize the joy of plastic work.
I cannot say that I have reached perfection on professionalism. In fact, I hope to achieve better, especially that every time I see these great painters work I realize how small and limited I am.
Q: What was your first experience professionally?
A: In school exhibitions, early 95. That was when I started with oil painting. I participated in national contests. In those days, there was great competition, which made me strive to do more in order to be distinguished. I used to see people impressed by my work and that gave me hope.
I wanted to know what the people think. When there was no exhibition, I used to take a few of my paintings and go around the streets and see what the people have to say about it. I wanted that I get all sorts of comments and criticism so that I can evaluate myself. This reflects on the basic massage in my art, which is that I draw for people. I want to reflect their worries and their needs, their emotions and points of view. People of all sorts and ages, even children matter.
This experience made me want to establish a gallery of my own. By the end of 1998, I established my own “Aladdin Arts Gallery” in Dhamar. That time I got criticism regarding the name and the idea as it is I was told that the people of Dhamar would not understand or appreciate this idea. I was determined, and to my happiness, I found that many people were interested and people came from the suburbs to see my work.
I have displayed my paintings in many exhibitions throughout the country and I have always won the first prize whenever there was any competition.
Q: What have you learnt from your experience so far?
A: Art has to represent the social fabric. We should not imitate the western art experience blindly. They have their experiences and their way of thinking, which they have represented through their works, and we have ours. Our Arabian society detests mystery. If is faced with the unknown, the attitude is to shy away and leave it. Whereas if it relates to the art work, it follows it up and becomes closer to the work and the artist as well. Yemenis are sensitive people and they do appreciate to works that reflect their needs. The reason for the ignorance in our society is reflects the ignorance of the artist who does not know how to convey the massage of art to the people.
There is one more thing I would like to say that is that I don’t chew Qat. In fact, I use the time people spend chewing in drawing and expressing on my talents. I was told more than once that I would be a better painter if I chew, supposing that Qat gives you inspiration. I think if Qat is the reason you create beautiful work, then Qat deserves the credit not you.
Q:Your hopes and dreams?
A:To bring the Classical School of Art to life again, because it is more beautiful and simple. It is also more enjoyable for the artist during the process of the painting. It displays the artist’s special talent of depicting the idea and bringing it to life.
At the end I would like to thank everyone in Dia for their support and encouragement, my family and friends and also the Yemen Times for this opportunity.