Chromesthesia: Artist Ghazi Baker Brings Music to Our Eyes

Mark Hachem Paris recently presented the second major exhibition for Beirut based architect and artist, Ghazi Baker. At the Place des Vosges gallery’s space in Paris, Ghazi Baker showcased his latest work, Chromesthesia, which presents sixteen new large and medium scale paintings.

Experimenting with and transliterating his emotions and expression of some of his favorite music into visual contexts, Baker’s works transport the viewer into a world where sounds meet colors and shapes.

Artist and Architect Ghazi Baker

At once a blend of pop art colors, neo-expresionist strokes and deconstructed canvases, Baker’s painting depict his interpretation of harmonies, melodies and rhythms into works of art people can relate to, his intensive use of vibrant colors connect the viewer to a feeling one gets when listening to a favorite piece of music, while the overlaid strokes of mostly bold and pure black and white are used to convey the melodic overtones of the same piece.

In some instance the colors are a literal translation of the original music version such as in Blue in Green after miles Davis where the background and strokes are painted as one symbiotic whole reflecting the composition itself as opposed to works such as Love or Comfortably Numb where the deconstruction of the components of the music is much more apparent. In others, like The Yellow Submarine after the Beatles or U2’s It’s a Beautiful Day the simplistic yet extremely pleasing and structured melodies are expressed in simple and basic solid colors with an absence of complex strokes or overlays.

Using all tools at his disposal Baker work reflects mostly a subjective reinterpretation of music that is universal, sometimes methodical, he would spend days and weeks just listening to the specific track to be expressed visually and sketch his ideas on paper repeatedly until the proportions, colors and shapes feel right, while at other times just a white canvas, the background sound and the emotions that music evokes are enough for him to see the finished painting in his mind’s eye all the while maintaining the rigid framework he himself set for his works.

Whether connected to the music or completely oblivious to it, Baker manages to draw the viewer into his world of colors and shapes fully aware that his art is redefining the aesthetic of what we see when we hear.

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