August 5, 2023 -
September 15, 2023
La Balsa Arte Bogotá
Panorámica de sala. Ambivalencias en rojo, La Balsa Arte Bogotá
Panorámica de sala. Ambivalencias en rojo, La Balsa Arte Bogotá

Ambivalencias en rojo (Ambivalences in red in English) is a series of monochrome paintings in which Chahal, as in previous proposals, works with a mixed technique around the same color, with his own mixture of materials that allows him to explore different textures through layers that overlap in various ways, always starting with dark layers that allow the lightest ones to gain intensity and expressiveness. The red, however, caused an additional urgency: that of the darkness struggling to get out. This resulted in small adjacent pieces, which reveal the dark background, like a window that demands to be opened.

The nature of red could have caused this sprain. Perhaps like no other, red is the color of ambivalence: the life that runs through the veins driven by the heart, and that same blood that, when spilled, is a sign of death. This relationship with life and death is what has made red a primordial color in so many cultures: the original, not as what did not previously exist, but as the origin of everything else, what we come from and to which, at the end of it all, we will probably return.

Artistic creation puts before our eyes -those of the artist, but also those of who contemplate his work-, what is difficult to see: those dark layers that underlie and pre-exist everything else. As Chevalier and Gheerbrant point out, the color red "is secret, it is the vital mystery hidden at the bottom of the darkness and the primordial oceans." In the Celtic tradition, this color is associated with warrior druids, that is, spiritual warriors. In a certain way, red embodies the war against itself, against the layers that we put, one on top of the other, to hide from ourselves. The warrior archetype embodies ambivalence like no other: the warrior is the one who faces death from his love for life. It is the red of the earth with which the vessel is molded: a container for food, but also for the ashes that remain as traces of our passage on earth.

Owner of a body of work as intense as it is abstract, Chahal has avoided, until now, making direct connections with his personal experience. However, he has not managed to get out of the red unscathed. A series of windows have finally been opened to his childhood, in the midst of the war in Lebanon, and to his adolescence, in confrontation with a tradition from which he cannot escape, but from which, at the same time, he had to escape. In the overlapping of these layers in red, he has found a question about what he refuses to look at in the face, not out of fear or shame, but because, in his ambivalence, he does not allow himself to be fully grasped, he does not allow judgment or judgmental assertion. The windows have been opened.

Liliana Moreno Acevedo, 2023

Selected images

-----> Sobre al artista <------


Bilal Chahal was born in Lebanon and lived for several years on the Caribbean island of Aruba. As a migrant, navigating between different cultures, his works navigate the difficult terrain between a personal history and the decentred experience of the diaspora; Identity and human communication are at the center of his work. In it he addresses the question of affection, belonging and identity from different perspectives, producing his work in a rich spectrum of techniques and materials. Since his first paintings, which began with the question of materiality, color and abstraction, his curren...

-----> Sobre los Artistas (Cuando son Dos)<------

-----> Sobre los artistas (muestra colectiva) <------


Please select listing to show.

Labalsaarte | 2023

AGAC member:

Scroll to Top