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Healing through Art: Tony Seker’s Journey of Self-Discovery

Rabeeha Amir
09 May 2023, MVT 11:16
Artist Tony Seker speaks about his inspiration for his paintings -- Photo: Amaany Abdulla
Rabeeha Amir
09 May 2023, MVT 11:16

Tony Seker is a New York-based artist recognized for his emotional, intuitive, and "action" painting style. His childhood as a refugee has had a significant impact on his art, influencing his approach to movement and expression. Tony is currently exhibiting his artwork at the Malé Art Gallery through the Artist in Residency programme. The exhibition, titled "Grounded," features nine acrylic paintings that depict his emotional journey of healing and self-discovery.

In preparation for the exhibition, Tony Seker stayed at Dhigali Maldives for over a month and created nine paintings using acrylic medium. The paintings showcase abstract, emotional, and intuitive movements.

Tony Sekers "Grounded" Art Exhibition displayed at Art Gallery -- Photo: Fayaaz Moosa

During his stay at Dhigali Maldives for over a month, Tony poured out his emotions onto the canvas, using different techniques to capture the texture and feel of the place. He described his time on the island as a period of introspection and self-reflection, which allowed him to create something new from the experience. The "Grounded" exhibition intimately portrays Tony’s movements in healing through abstract patterns and emotions felt from the paintings that need no words.

"My childhood experience was bitter. I was born in Beirut, Lebanon. In the seventies, we had to flee the country due to the civil war. We led a very frugal, difficult life as refugees in a foreign land. As a child, I painted using cardboard as it was the only tool available for me. Even now, as a professional artist, I tend to go back to using cardboard."

He has carried this experience with him throughout his career, often using different tools from his environment to create textures, movements, and colors on canvas. In the painting "Feel Free," he channels his childhood experience by using coir rope as a tool to create the artwork.

"Looking Inwards" painting by Tony Seker -- Photo: Fayaaz Moosa

Tony's most insightful painting, "Looking Inwards", fuses the colors he saw when reflecting on himself and those he saw upon arriving on the island. During his stay, he found solace in the beauty of nature and was often inspired by the simplest things, such as the sight of leaves being raked to clear a path.

"Blue Voyage" portrays the various shades of blue in the Maldives' sea and the emotions that Tony felt when he saw it. For Tony, the sea has emotions lurking underneath its surface, and he believes that water represents elements of virtue such as honesty and integration.

"Feel Free" painting by Tony Seker -- Photo: Fayaaz Moosa

In his painting 'Liberation,' Tony expresses his love for Dhigali through upbeat and celebratory movements that he believes are consistent with his personality. The painting represents a sense of accomplishment for him and reflects his moniker "Claxon Du Soleil," which translates to "blast from the sun", which is how he views his art - as a colourful explosion.

Tony’s paintings serve as a testimony to the healing power of art. Through his work, he finds a sense of grounding, and hopes that viewers will also experience a similar feeling of healing. His journey is an inspiration to those who have faced hardship and are seeking self-discovery and healing. The exhibition was titled "Grounded" because it was an expression of coming to terms with the past and moving forward liberated.

Tony Sekers "Grounded" Art Exhibition displayed at Art Gallery -- Photo: Fayaaz Moosa

Tony sees art as a means of freedom and a way to connect with society, creating a common platform that people can relate to. He believes that new experiences can enrich a person and help them connect with themselves and society. For him, his experience in the Maldives was a cathartic one that opened up new ideas and perspectives in his art. He sees himself as part of a larger process that connects the world in a spiritual sense, taking the love and inspiration he found in the Maldives and sharing it with the rest of the world.

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